Felony misconduct charges dropped against Chicago officer accused of punching man in hospital

CHICAGO -- Prosecutors have dropped felony charges against a Chicago police officer who was accused of striking a handcuffed patient in a hospital room in 2014.

The Chicago Tribune reports Wednesday that a judge during a June hearing dropped the official misconduct charges against veteran officer Clauzell Gause after the Cook County state's attorney's office said the victim wouldn't come to court. Assistant State's Attorney Kenneth Goff said in court that prosecutors "cannot proceed and meet our burden without the testimony."

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Hospital surveillance footage showed Gause punching and shoving the 24-year-old victim Rayshon Gartley, who had punched Gause. Gause and another officer were transporting the man for a mental health evaluation to Jackson Park Hospital. Prosecutors said when charges were filed in 2016 that the man was restrained and handcuffed, after which Gause allegedly pushed him and punched him several times.

Gause, 40, of Chicago, was charged with official misconduct in connection with the June 2015 incident. He has been a CPD officer since 2004.

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