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NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) — North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham has accepted the resignation of his embattled police chief.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, police Chief Michael Newsome had been under increasing pressure since the November death of Darrin Hanna, 45, who was allegedly beaten and shocked with a Taser by North Chicago officers during an arrest.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
Newsome, 50, had been put on administrative leave with pay by Mayor Rockingham on Jan. 3, pending the outcome of the investigation into Hanna’s death. Four aldermen also voted for Newsome’s removal.
Newsome’s retirement was effective Feb. 24. In a letter to Rockingham, he said he was thankful for “the opportunity to serve and protect the citizens of North Chicago.”
“I have had the chance to make many meaningful relationships, both personal and professional,” he stated.
Rockingham called Newsome “a consummate law enforcement professional and a tremendous team player.”
Hanna’s mother, Gloria Carr, spoke out soon after her son’s death.
“I want the officer to suffer and be charged with murder!” she said.
Carr is pursuing a federal lawsuit against the City of North Chicago, where police are facing other allegations of brutality.
The lawsuit claims six officers beat Hanna and repeatedly used the Taser on him when they arrested him over a domestic dispute. Their suit claims officers beat and shocked him for 20 minutes, even though he did not resist arrest.
But Carr is not blaming Newsome. She says he is a scapegoat, although she also believes he looked the other way.
Newsome previously served as a shift commander and detective. He oversaw initiatives including installation of the city’s first surveillance cameras and the patrolling of three Navy housing subdivisions, an addition of about 1,000 homes.
During his tenure, according to Rockingham, the “crime index rate” in the city dropped.
Rockingham said Newsome “presided over a very difficult time when the city has been limited in resources.”