CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police commander accused of sticking the barrel of his service weapon in a suspect’s throat, pressing a stun gun against the man’s groin last year, and threatening to kill him was released without having to post bail Thursday.
Police Cmdr. Glenn Evans, 52, was stripped of his police powers Wednesday after Cook County prosecutors charged him with aggravated battery and official misconduct.
CBS 2’s Chris Martinez reports Evans, once considered one of Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s go-to guys, appeared in bond court Thursday afternoon, where prosecutors said he shoved the barrel of his service weapon in a suspect’s mouth, and pressed a stun gun against the man’s groin during an arrest in early 2013.
However, Evans’ attorney claimed the charges were the result of an “incredibly flawed” investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority.
Defense attorney Laura Morask argued finding Williams’ DNA on Evans’ gun does not mean Evans pushed the gun in Williams’ mouth.
“The only thing that the DNA shows is that Ricky Williams, at some point, his sweat or his saliva or his hand touched the gun,” she said. “It does not show that it was shoved down his throat.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said, based on the evidence she’s seen, the charges were warranted.
A judge released Evans on a $100,000 recognizance bond, meaning he was able to go free without posting bail. The judge also did not order Evans to surrender his weapon.
Evans would only have to pay the $100,000 bond if he failed to show up for a future court date and a judge ordered him to forfeit bail. Evans turned himself in to the Cook County Sheriff’s office around 6 a.m. Thursday. He was allowed to exit the courthouse through a rarely used door, and avoid a throng of reporters.
About 20 police officers showed up for Evans’ bond hearing to show their support.
Prosecutors said Evans and officers under his command were on patrol on Jan. 30, 2013, when they saw a man — identified in police reports as 24-year-old Ricky Williams — holding a gun in his hand hear the corner of 71st Street and Eberhart Avenue.
When they approached Williams, he ran away, and into an abandoned house, where Evans found Williams hiding in a closet, but Williams no longer had the gun, according to prosecutors.
Evans allegedly tackled Williams, and stuck the barrel of his .45 caliber handgun “deep down” Williams’ throat, then pulled out a Taser and held it to Williams’ groin. While holding both weapons, Evans allegedly threatened to kill Williams, shouting “Motherf****r, tell me where the guns are.” Prosecutors said neither Williams’ arrest report nor a police incident report accused Williams of resisting arrest, or trying to disarm an officer. The reports also did not indicate any violence was used to take Williams into custody.
Williams was charged with reckless conduct, despite police not finding a gun when they arrested him. Those charges later were dropped, and Williams filed a complaint with the Independent Police Review Authority.
Prosecutors said the Internal Affairs Division swabbed Evans’ gun for DNA and took DNA samples from Williams as part of an investigation, and the Illinois State Police Crime Lab confirmed Williams’ DNA was on the gun.
Evans was once considered one of the Chicago Police Department’s best district commanders. This past March, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy reassigned Evans to the Harrison District on the West Side, after Evans had spent 18 months running the Grand Crossing District on the South Side. At the time, McCarthy praised Evans for significant reductions in murders, shootings, and overall crime at Grand Crossing, and said he was sending his “best guy” to help reduce crime on the West Side.
Soon after his reassignment to the Harrison District, Evans was at the center of a controversy when he reportedly kicked Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) out of the station after a confrontation in Evans’ office.
McCarthy frequently praised by the superintendent for his approach to police work, and even scoffed earlier this week when asked if Evans should be stripped of his powers due to the assault allegation, which was first reported by WBEZ Public Radio last month.
“I’m not going to answer that question. That’s absurd,” McCarthy said. “Do I support him? If I didn’t support him, he wouldn’t be there.”
McCarthy has since changed his tune. In a written statement after Evans was charged, the superintendent said:
“The alleged actions, if true, are unacceptable to the both the residents we serve and to the men and women of this department. As soon as we were made aware of the charges Commander Evans was relieved of his police powers, pending the outcome of this matter. Like any private citizen, the commander is innocent until proven guilty and we need to allow this case to proceed like any other. We will cooperate fully with prosecutors.”
Sources told CBS 2 Evans was being reassigned to desk duty at Chicago Public Safety Headquarters pending the outcome of his case.
Morask said a petition drive is underway to reinstate Evans to active duty.
“He’s a very hard-working guy. I’ve known him for a long time,” Morask said. “He is really a true police officer that solves crimes. He spent the entire weekend working.”
On a side note, Morask, a former Cook County prosecutor who served a one-month suspension of her law license last fall, after the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission determined she’d engaged in misconduct. The misconduct case stemmed from allegations she made improper sarcastic and inflammatory comments in closing arguments at three trials several years ago.