N. Chicago mayor faces pressure in police-custody death

April 17, 2012 5:06:37 AM PDT
The cousin of a man who died after a confrontation with North Chicago police increased the pressure on that community's mayor Monday night to take action against the officers involved.

Long simmering tension over the Darrin Hanna case boiled over among the suburb's city council members as aldermen voiced dissatisfaction with the pace of the investigation and proposed ways to force Mayor Leon Rockingham to take action on the matter.

"What I'm asking to be done is the officers, their badges, their IDs be taken from them, they go home," said Alderman Charles January, 7th Ward.

It has been nearly six months since Hanna died after a violent encounter with North Chicago police. Hanna was punched and hit with a stun gun after reports that he was beating a pregnant woman.

Six officers and one sergeant under investigation for the incident remain on desk duty, but Hanna's relatives have called for them to be removed from their duties.

"We have presented enough evidence for all the officers to be gone," said Ralph Peterson, Hanna's cousin. "This is just more and this is just blatant lies."

Mayor Rockingham says he hopes to have a decision about the matter next week after the officers in question have been interviewed and he consults with the interim police chief.