CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police officer has been indicted on federal charges, accused of using excessive force when he allegedly punched a man during an arrest in 2012, and kicked him while he was handcuffed and lying on the floor face-down.
Aldo Brown, 37, has been charged with one count of violating a victim’s civil rights, and two counts of obstruction of justice. Brown, who has been an officer since 2002, has not yet been scheduled for arraignment.
Federal prosecutors allege Brown and another unnamed officer entered a convenience store on East 76th Street on Sept. 27, 2012, and placed two people in handcuffs. After searching the store, the unnamed officer allegedly removed the handcuffs from one man, and Brown allegedly struck the man several times.
The victim was then handcuffed again, and Brown pulled a gun from the man’s rear pants pocket, according to prosecutors. Brown then allegedly kicked the man while he was lying on his stomach, before Brown and his partner arrested the man.
Brown allegedly falsified a “tactical response report” on the incident, claiming the victim actively resisted, and fled from the officers, and did not indicate Brown punched or kicked the victim.
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Prosecutors allege Brown also falsified an arrest report, by claiming he saw a gun in the victim’s poket while interviewing him, then “conducted a [sic] emergency take down.”
The indictment alleges Brown did not see the gun until after he had struck the man several times, and handcuffed him twice.
The second officer was not charged as part of the indictment.
Although the indictment does not identify the second officer, or either of the men who were handcuffed at the convenience store, two brothers sued Brown and Officer George Stacker in October 2012, claiming the officers beat them during that arrest.
“I’m getting a gun pointed at me and punched in my face and kicked in my ribs,” said Jecque Howard.
Howard said the officers never even said why they were there. He said Officer George Stacker was the first to approach him.
“He came to the front and said ‘you work here?’, and I said, ‘yes’. He said ‘well not after today, you’re fired,’” explained Howard.
Howard’s brother, Paul Neal, was working outside the South Shore shop for a government cell phone program at the time.
Surveillance footage obtained by the 2 Investigators was at the center of an Independent Police Review Authority investigation at the time.
As the brothers watched the tape, they said they were still in disbelief about what happened next.
“That’s Aldo Brown,” they said in unison, while watching the video as Officer Aldo Brown approached Jecque in the store.
“He told me to drop my pants, to take off my pants,” said Howard, who did not want to strip, but did lower his pants before the situation got worse.
“I got hit in the right side of my face. He hit me over here on my left side,” Howard said, explaining all that happened while his hands were down, and he was not doing anything threatening.
“Then he put his hand around my throat and got to choking me,” said Howard. “And then he threw me on the floor and put me in cuffs and while I was in cuffs is when he hit me like two more times in the face and kicked me in the ribs a couple of times. It was kind of scary. It was real scary actually.”
Neal said he wanted to help his brother, but said he was being roughed up outside by Stacker.
Neal said he had a similar run-in with this same officer, Aldo Brown, in 2011, and had filed a complaint.
Neal was charged with resisting arrest while doing online psychic readings, his part-time job when the police burst through his door.
Howard was charged with having a gun, which he said was for protection while working in that neighborhood. He also had a small amount of cannabis.
All the charges were dismissed, because the officers did not show up to court.
CBS 2 was unable to reach Officer Aldo Brown at the time of the lawsuit, but Officer George Stacker did say he felt, “They [Stacker and Brown] followed police guidelines to a T.”
However, he would not say on the record why he and Brown failed to show up in court for the charges against Neal and Howard.
According to federal court records, the lawsuit was settled in September 2013, but terms of the settlement were not public, due to a non-disclosure clause.