Chicago Police Officer Brett Kahn charged 2 years after hitting man with baton

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A Chicago police officer is facing charges after beating a man with a baton two years ago. (WLS)

A Chicago police officer is facing charges after beating a man with a baton two years ago.

Brett Kahn, 31, appeared in bond court Thursday after surrendering to sheriff's deputies. He's charged with felony aggravated battery and official misconduct stemming from a melee captured on camera in the summer of 2014.

Prosecutors say Kahn hit 32-year-old Jeremiah Smith without provocation while he was on patrol responding to a block party celebrating record deals signed by two neighborhood teens with a major Atlanta label.

"The defendant then struck the victim in the head with the baton so as to either deliver a weighted punch or a blow to the head," prosecutor Theresa Smith said. "The victim suffered bleeding, a knot to the head and experienced throbbing pain as a result of this incident."

A related federal civil rights lawsuit that was recently settled in Smith's favor for $100,000. Smith's lawyer Rahsaan Gordon said that without video, this day wouldn't have come.

"The video makes it clear that a crime was committed," Gordon said.

Video taken by a bystander - who was also arrested that night - shows Kahn slamming Lisa Simmons onto a police car and handcuffing her.

"Police officers are given some level of deference. It's a tough city and fighting crime is a tough job," Gordon said.

In his police report, which the Independent Police Review Authority released in June along with video from the 2014 incident, Kahn wrote that "while on routine patrol in an area known for heavy gang and narcotic activity" he had seen Smith and Simmons drinking in the public way.

Kahn wrote that he used his baton only after Smith tried to punch him. But there is no such punch in the video.

"The victim did not attack, fight with the officers, display any weapons, or commit any other offenses," Theresa Smith said.

Smith later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge so he could be released after spending 12 days in jail, according to his lawsuit.

Simmons, who is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, went to trial. Kahn testified, but the charges against her were dropped, according to the lawsuit.

Kahn received a $50,000 I-Bond, a personal recognizance bond that does not require any money to be posted.

Kahn declined to comment as he left the courthouse Thursday. His lawyer said in court that Kahn joined the Chicago Police Department in 2012 after a decorated Army career that dated back to 2004. He is due back in court on September 26.

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controversial videochicago police departmentpolice brutalityChicago - Downtown
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