Sheriff Will Look Into Lansing Officer’s Scuffle With Black Teen

(CBS) — The Cook County Sheriff’s office will look further into an incident when an off-duty white police officer in Lansing was videotaped pinning a black teenager on the ground.

It was the Lansing Police Department that asked the sheriff’s office to investigate.

cell ph Sheriff Will Look Into Lansing Officers Scuffle With Black Teen

An off-duty officer in Lansing pins a teen during a dispute over the officer’s property. (Veronica Ann Falls/Facebook)

And until recently, the sheriff’s office had indicated it had gone as far as it could go with the investigation.

Cara Smith, the sheriff’s chief policy officer, says they weren’t able to talk to the 15-year-old boy at the center of the incident because his family wasn’t making him available.

And she says sheriff’s investigators asked to speak to the family’s attorney – but “that did not happen.”

Smith says things have now changed, with the publication of a news story.

“In reading the Southtown story for the first time, we learned who the lawyer was. I reached out to the individual last evening and he agreed to make his client available to our detective.”

So now, Smith says, sheriff’s investigators hope to learn more about the incident where the teenager is claiming in a civil-rights lawsuit that an off-duty Lansing officer’s actions were not justified.

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