Takedown Of Naked Man Good ‘De-Escalation,’ Supt. Johnson Says

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police officers stopped a naked, bloodied man Monday in an incident caught on video and shared on Facebook.

As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports, Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson said this is an example of a new program helping officers keep a potentially dangerous situation from escalating.

The man was naked — first outside a Northwest side residence, then making a dash toward two Chicago police officers.

On the video, bystanders can be heard shouting what they think the officers should do — “Shoot him, shoot him!” and “This is the time when you shoot people.”

Instead, the officers could be seen using a taser, which subsequently made the man fall in the street.

Supt. Johnson called it a successful interaction with a man who was clearly disturbed.

“That just demonstrates our de-escalation training and what we want officers to do,” Supt. Johnson added.

“De-escalation training” is a 40-hour, voluntary training for officers who are interested in increasing their skill set, according to Alexa James, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). With the training, James said, officers can verbally de-escalate individuals who are in crisis and keep an encounter — if possible — from becoming deadly.

After the man in the video got up, a third police officer stunned him. Some who viewed the video were questioning why that was necessary if the man was unarmed.

“Just because a person is unarmed doesn’t mean they’re no threat,” said a recently retired CPD officer. “You can’t have a person grappling with an officer. A cop can be disarmed. That’s a threat to the officer and the public.”

After the incident, the officers and the subject were alive.

“At the end of the day, we just try to do the right thing and those officers did the right thing, so I’m proud of them,” Supt. Johnson said.

Contrary to other reports, the man in the video only suffered a lacerated hand, after shoving it through a window, police said. He had no other cuts.

Police took him to Swedish Covenant Hospital for a mental evaluation.

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