Officer Demoted To Desk Duty After Kicking Suspect In The Head

REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

A Chicago police officer was demoted to desk duty after a video surfaced on Facebook Monday showing him kicking a suspect in the head.

The video shows an officer struggling to arrest the perpetrator. When another officer arrives to the scene to help, he calls for back up and kicks the suspect in the head. The suspect, later identified as Shaquille O’Neal, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital to be treated. As of Tuesday morning, O’Neal was in fine condition.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson put the officer on desk duty and removed all of his powers of arrest, while he is being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA).

In a statement, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, “After careful consideration in reviewing the video footage, Superintendent Johnson has decided to relieve one of the officers involved in the incident that occurred on the 3900 block of West Grenshaw of his police powers while IPRA investigates the case.”

The IPRA started the investigation into the officer and the video Monday night, Mia Sissac, a spokesman for the IPRA told The Associated Press. “It’s still very early on. We immediately went over to district to try and identify the officers and move forward from there.”

The suspect has yet to be officially charged and the identities of the officers in question have not been released.

The president of the Fraternal Order of the Police, a union for the Chicago Police Department, said the department is acting too quickly by taking away the officer’s powers of arrest before the final conclusions come back from the IPRA investigation.

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