New claims of police brutality in North Chicago
December 19, 2011 (NORTH CHICAGO, Ill.) (WLS) -- A videotape of an alleged incident of police brutality in North Chicago was played during a packed city council meeting in the north suburb Monday night.
The video -- in which an officer is seen striking a man and sending his face into a wall -- was shown to aldermen by Ralph Peterson, a cousin of Darrin Hanna, who died last month after being arrested by North Chicago police. State police are investigating his death.
Aldermen confirm that the place where the officer was caught on camera hitting a man in custody is in fact the North Chicago Police Department's booking room. While ABC7 cannot independently confirm when the alleged incident happened or what led up to it, the videotape is fueling further mistrust of the North Chicago Police Department and its chief.
"It represents what the chief of police and the North Chicago Police Department has been doing since 2005, and nobody's stepped up against these guys," said Peterson.
Peterson says he received the video and accompanying police report anonymously. His cousin, Darrin Hanna, died last month days after North Chicago police arrested him in a separate incident. An autopsy report revealed a stun gun had been used on Hanna.
"I'm a mother who lost her son by a beating. By a beating!" said Gloria Carr, Hanna's mother.
"You want justice? Justice is going to be served. Mother Carr, justice is coming. It's coming," said Alderman Valerie Devost, North Chicago, to applause.
Petersen says he received documents purported to be the police report saying an officer found a Waukegan resident in July of 2010 drunk and unresponsive on the street. The document says the arresting officer hit the man in the back to get him to release his grip on a metal bar and theorized the blood was from skin already loosened by a bad sunburn.
Some aldermen concede the two incidents, while separate, are cause for alarm.
"We requested the chief be removed until the investigation was over. The mayor has the power to say no and he said no....But I this is new information and I'll be taking it to him and the state's attorney's office," said Ald. Charles January, North Chicago Police & Fire Committee chairman.
"I want change. I demand change for the people of North Chicago...I don't know how many more videos we have to get our hands on to prove to you there is a problem here," said State Rep. Rita Mayfield, (D) Waukegan, also a cousin of Hanna's.
ABC7 was not been able to reach the man who was seen on videotape in the incident, which may have taken place in 2010.
North Chicago's mayor has previously said he stands by the actions of his police chief and officers pending the result of an investigation that is ongoing. The police chief was not at Monday night's meeting and neither was the mayor. His wife passed away Monday night.
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