CHICAGO (STMW) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago will be assuming the investigation into the death of Darrin Hanna of North Chicago, who died after being arrested and allegedly beaten by North Chicago police officers.
“In response to this request from members of the community, I decided to refer this case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for an independent investigation. Considering all of the circumstances, I decided the best way to proceed was for a new law enforcement agency with no prior involvement in this case to conduct an independent investigation,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim.
Prior to Nerheim taking office, the case was investigated by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police. Nerheim was asked by several representatives of the Hanna family to review the prior investigation in light of what was presented to be new evidence.
Gloria Carr, Darrin Hanna’s mother, said she has found some relief in the news that was given to her by Nerheim in his office before he made the announcement in a press release.
“I have a little relief, a little sigh,” she said.
“I’m not happy yet, I’m just praying God is good, he’s always been good,” said Carr.
“This shows no one is above the law and they kept it going. I can say I am thankful. Maybe now I can get a little bit of sleep,” she said.
“I thank him for that, it takes a man to stand up to what’s going on,” said Carr.
“What they did, those six officers, it was a cowardly move. Six officers beat one unarmed man. Those were cowards,” she said.
In early 2013, shortly after Nerheim was sworn into office as the newly-elected Lake County State’s Attorney, a meeting was initiated with the office of the U.S. Attorney in Chicago. Nerheim requested that the investigation into the death of Darrin Hanna be assumed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, they agreed.
In an effort to protect the integrity of the case, State’s Attorney Nerheim has kept the involvement of federal officials confidential. Throughout the past 13 months, the State’s Attorney’s Office has continued to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The city of North Chicago released a statement in support of Nerheim’s move to determine whether any further action needs to be taken. It said the conduct of the officers was investigated and those investigations found no basis for criminal charges.
The statement said the city’s own investigation found the conduct of two officers warranted discipline.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)