Family outraged after video shows police officer apparently kick man in head

ByEvelyn Holmes and Laura Podesta WLS logo
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Family speaks out after officer apparently kicks man
The officer has been stripped of his police powers.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police officer was stripped of his police powers Tuesday after a video surfaced of the officer apparently kicking a man in the head.

The video is now under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

The video captured by Terrance Hobson shows a police officer trying to apprehend a suspect Monday in the 3900 block of West Grenshaw. It then shows another officer appear to kick the man in the head, knocking him out.

Witnesses say they thought their friend was dead.

"Shaquille lost consciousness, he stopped moving for like 25 or 30 minutes," said witness Lenell White. "It looked like he was passing away."

The man, Shaquille O'Neal, was rushed by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment. O'Neal's family is demanding justice.

"I feel better now that I've seen my son," said Loleta Large, the suspect's mother.

"It's hard as it would be for anyone else to see a loved one all banged up," said Winneka Smith, the suspect's aunt. "Everybody's not bad."

Some activists say the Chicago Police Department's pattern of misconduct in the African-American community must end.

"Kicking him in the face was uncalled for and it was a disgusting act and I'm glad that that police officer has been stripped of his story," said Jedidiah Brown.

"We're still devastated from the horror of it all because this is something we saw with our own eyes," said Eric Russell of the Tree of Life Justice League.

Former police officer Michael Brown says the video doesn't really show all of what happened.

"Without knowing the entire facts of this situation, it's hard to make that conclusion," Brown said.

The suspect was arrested after officers chased him and found three bags of heroin on him Monday afternoon, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. Police said charges were pending against O'Neal.

According to a police report, the man bit the officer on the right ring finger before he was handcuffed. Guglielmi said the officer was treated for the bite at a hospital

"In my opinion, these are cover charges to cover for what these police officers did which is the brutal stomping of Mr. O'Neal in the head," said Michael Oppenheimer, the suspect's attorney.

Oppenheimer said he expects the second officer to be investigated.

O'Neals family says the plan to release another video showing another officer allegedly kneeing him in the head.

O'Neal has been released from the hospital and remains in a CPD lockup. He is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday.

The Fraternal Order of Police said it disagrees with Johnson's decision to strip powers before IPRA has completed its investigation into the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.