(CBS) — There’s been a delay of at least one day in the bond hearing on the latest charges facing the West Side man who was arrested earlier this week, kicked in the head by a Chicago police officer, released and then re-arrested a day later.
Prosecutors were ready to go to court without him Friday. But 24-year-old Shaquille O’Neal’s attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, said his client, who’s still in the hospital, has a constitutional right to confront his accusers. He said the defense won’t waive it.
Oppenheimer asks why it was necessary to arrest, release and re-arrest O’Neal in the first place.
“Somebody did the right thing when they released him,” Oppenheimer said. “And then after a letter from the head of the Fraternal Order of Police, condemning everyone for releasing this kid, sometime after he is arrested and charged for a warrant that they could have done the night before.”
O’Neal faces aggravated battery and resisting arrest charges from the second encounter, in addition to the original drug possession, parole violation, disorderly conduct and assault charges.
Oppenheimer calls the charges “trumped up,” while family spokesman Eric Russell calls the follow-up arrest “politics of the highest level.”
The officer seen stomping on O’Neal’s head in a viral social-media video has been placed on desk duty during an investigation, police have said.