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NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) – The detainee who is seen being roughly treated by a North Chicago police officer in widely circulated surveillance video is speaking out for the first time.
Whenever Paul Smith sees the video, he says he asks himself, “Why would they do this to you? Why are they so abusive? They’re supposed to protect and serve, not beat people up.”
Smith says he didn’t deserve the beating he got at the hands of a North Chicago police officer.
“He grabbed me by the neck, choked me, threw me up against the wall, and ever since then I’ve had headaches,” he told reporters Monday before speaking in front of North Chicago’s elected leaders.
The booking-room encounter was caught on tape in July 2010. A report says Smith was verbally confrontational. Smith says even if he was he didn’t deserve what he got.
An attorney for North Chicago tells CBS 2 News they’re taking a closer look at the case because of other incidents, such as the one involving Darrin Hanna.
Hanna’s mother, Gloria Carr, says officers responding to a domestic dispute, used a stun gun on her unarmed son and beat him. He later died.
Smith says he was initially afraid to talk but was inspired to come forward because of Hanna’s story.
“They need to stop it,” says Smith, who plans a lawsuit against the city of North Chicago.
Carr has already filed suit. Both she and Smith say they want someone to hold officers accountable for what they and their attorney call excessive use of force.