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1 North Chicago Cop Fired, 1 Suspended In Connection With Man’s Death

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Darrin Hanna died in November 2011, a week after he was allegedly beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun at the hands of North Chicago police. (Family supplied photo)

Darrin Hanna died in November 2011, a week after he was allegedly beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun at the hands of North Chicago police. (Family supplied photo)

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UPDATED 04/27/12 1:11 p.m.

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) — One North Chicago police officer has been fired, and another is suspended without pay, in connection with the brutality allegations by the family of a man who died after being beaten during an arrest.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Officer Brandon Yost, a six-year veteran, has been terminated effective immediately. Officer Arthur Strong, a seven-year veteran, has been suspended without pay for 30 days.

The other four officers involved in the arrest of Darrin “Dagwood” Hanna last November, as well as a sergeant, are returning to their regular duties.

North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham announced the decision Friday afternoon.

It will not satisfy Hanna’s family or the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who are calling for termination and criminal charges against all six officers and the sergeant.

“I feel that they deserve to be charged with murder, because they murdered my son,” said Hanna’s mother, Gloria Carr. “And that’s how I feel. They murdered my son.”

“They should be charged and fired,” Rev. Jackson added. “The city should be sued.”

Hanna, 45, died a week after he was arrested on Nov. 6 of last year on a charge of domestic battery. Police punched Hanna in the head and used a Taser on him before he was arrested.

Hanna died on Nov. 13. A well-publicized photo taken shortly after his arrest shows him hooked up to tubes in the hospital with his face bloodied and battered.

The officers involved said they had to resort to force because Hanna was belligerent and was resisting being handcuffed.

But Hanna’s family blames seven North Chicago police officers for his death, and said they beat him brutally and excessively.

They say police audio recordings prove that he was not resisting.

“Put me down! Put me down! Please! I’m about to die! I was down! I was down! They’re killing me!” Hanna screams on the tape.

On Monday, Mayor Rockingham said the officers involved, who were initially put on desk duty, had been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Hanna’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Chicago police, alleging brutality and excessive force.

Police reports show officers were called to Hanna’s apartment over complaints that he was fighting with his pregnant girlfriend. Illinois State Police say it all started when Hanna’s girlfriend received a call from a female friend, whom Hanna thought was another man.

Quoted in published reports syndicated by the Sun-Times Media Wire, prosecutors said Hanna became enraged and threatened to kill his girlfriend and the unborn child. He also forced her to strip naked and get in a bathtub, where he tried to drown her, prosecutors alleged.

When police came, Hanna came outside with his fists clenched, screaming, “Shoot me!” prosecutors allege. He also tried to bite and head butt officers and kept resisting until they punched him in the face, used the Taser, and hit him in the legs with a baton, prosecutors alleged.

Last month, Lake County prosecutors decided not to seek criminal charges against the officers involved in the incident.

Prosecutors said an independent investigation by Illinois State Police revealed the officers who punched Hanna and subdued him with a stun gun acted properly after he threatened the officers.

Earlier this week, an attorney for the officers told CBS 2’s Pamela Jones she is confident there is enough evidence to exonerate the officers, including evidence that Hanna first attacked the officers.

“I strongly believe the evidence will favor these officers,” Scarry told CBS 2’s Pamela Jones.

“The officers, they didn’t ask for this incident,” she said. “They responded to a 9-1-1 call.”

Mayor Rockingham and the Rev. Jackson have both asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

The Lake County coroner’s office concluded that Hanna died from Taser shocks and physical restraints, but also from cocaine abuse, high blood pressure, and poor kidney function.

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