Family Of North Chicago Police Beating Victim Wants Chief Out

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) — The death of a man who was shocked with a stun gun has put serious pressure on North Chicago Police Chief Mike Newsome, who was on the hot seat on Thursday.

Seven North Chicago officers are on desk duty while Illinois State Police investigate.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports Newsome’s future was debated Thursday night at a city council meeting.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

The council voted 4-3 in favor of suspending Newsome, pending the results of the state police probe, but they needed five votes for the suspension to go into effect and the Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr. chose to keep Newsome in place.

Relatives of Darrin Hanna – who died last month after police officers allegedly beat him and shocked him with a stun gun – and other North Chicago residents are asking the city council and the mayor to get rid of Newsome.

They blame him for the fatal incident, but the mayor says Newsome has done a good job, despite isolated incidents.

North Chicago Residents crowded into the meeting, demanding answers about several arrests where they say police officers’ use of force went too far.

Surveillance video shows North Chicago police officers beating and kicking 61-year-old Stretha Alston when he was arrested during a traffic stop in North Chicago in 2009.

At Thursday’s council meeting, Alston recalled the beating, saying “They kicked me, they stomped me.”

His injuries were severe enough to stir up raw emotion for him and the families of other victims of alleged police brutality.

The discussion was prompted by Hanna’s death last month, after police beat him and shocked him with a stun gun.

Hanna’s uncle, Raymond Mayfield, told police, “You killed him. You beat my nephew to death and I want you to hear that. You beat him to death.”

Hanna’s mother, Gloria Carr, said police brutally beat Hanna and hit him with an electric shock device. He died on Nov. 13, a week after the incident.

His family had harsh words for officers.

“I want the officers to suffer and be charged with murder,” Carr said.

But Rockingham said no action can be taken until state police, a coroner’s inquiry and internal investigations into the matters are complete.

He also said removing Newsome as police chief before those investigations are complete would be premature.

“At this point we do have to be patient,” he said.

But Alston’s attorney, Muriel Collins, said the video of his client’s beating shows police brutality happens far too often in North Chicago.

“It’s just excessive. It has to stop,” Collins said.

Alston said looking at a photo of his swollen face and watching the video still hurt, but his attorneys said it’s all to help stop what they call unwarranted violence from police.

“He tased me behind my head and in my back and I hollered and then he tased me again in my back,” Alston said. “It’s unbelievable.”

The Fraternal Order of Police had a representative at the meeting, who told alleged victims’ families that police understand their pain. But he said justice must be served the right way, with a thorough independent investigation.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Darrin Hanna’s mother, blasting out murder when that’s just not true.

    Imagine police called they have a hysterical pregnant woman, and an out of control Black guy in a dark apartment. Police aren’t going to back down so Black man better come out and surrender. If I’m a cop going into that situation and run into a combative suspect black or white, mexican it don’t matter. I’m going to do all I can to make sure I bring this guy down and that I come out alive and he is no longer a threat to the pregnant girl and her sister. At this point I’m not real worried about the pregnant woman beaters safety either, if he don’t comply, it’s dark, he don’t want to come out he’s going down before me or any of my fellow officers and I can just imagine all of the officers there were feeling something like this.

    Darrin was not murdered he brought this unfortunate instance upon himself. Stop blaming the police officers here’s the story.

    He had an arrest record, mostly (I wonder what they are hiding behind this word) for retail theft, he was going through drug problems according to family

    Hanna was arrested Nov. 6 by North Chicago police after the sister of his 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend called police because the couple was fighting at his apartment in the 1700 block of Park Avenue and she heard Hanna threaten her sister. Police said officers entered the dark apartment and they had to physically restrain Hanna when he was injured and then taken to the hospital. He died at Vista East Medical Center, Waukegan, on Nov. 13.

    Complements of

    Now Darrin’s mother can’t see the menace that her son truly had become He was a drug using, thief (mostly retail but maybe a few cars I don’t know) woman beating thug. Darrin studied a little bit of criminal justice and still chose the way of life that brought about his untimely demise.

    Now Darrin‘s mother, in her blind love for Darrin, is trying to ruin the lives of the fine, upstanding , brave men in uniform, that were just doing there civic duty, These police officers had no idea what they were going to encounter in that dark apartment and when they did meet up with Darrin, obviously he didn’t give up peacefully they had to subdue a combatant, angry, black man in the dark.

    Darrin may have played some basket ball, and believed in Jesus when he was little but he left all that behind and chose a of life of crime that gave him a criminal record and he was still actively being a criminal at the time of his death. He was well educated on right from wrong even his mother taught him that. Now she is angry and lashing out. Those police officers didn’t wake up in the morning and say hey lets go murder Darrin Hanna today, they were sent there summoned by the violent actions of Darrin, a known criminal and now a mad, pregnant woman beating, thug.

  • Megan

    Stop blaming the police?? How can you be serious? How is it possibly necessary to repeatedly beat a man in the face and taser him for 20 min.? That’s called torture. IF he was resisting arrest I’m sure they could’ve just tasered him and put the handcuffs on. I can’t imagine how they could’ve needed to repeatedly beat a guy in the face. He may have been a bad guy, who knows, but the police never, never have the right to hurt a person when it is not in self-defense. I frankly wouldn’t believe a word of the police officers account of the story. Have you seen the video where the North Chicago police keep beating a 61 year old man after he subdued on the ground? Because of a traffic stop? You can’t always believe the victims, but you can’t think the police are always moral and truthful either. It doesn’t matter what type of person the victim was, it doesn’t justify police brutality.

    • Jim Hamilton

      if the police beat and taser this guy fo 20min he wouldn’t have lived long enough to get to the hospital there was no one in that apartment that can say he was beatin for 20 min and it was dark in there he was resisting and yeah stop blaming the police. You wasn’t there. I believe a cop over the thugs any day any time I have had more run ins with the thugs than I have with the police so yeah I know what side of the fence I’m on.

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