CHICAGO (CBS) — A strip search and a beating — two Chicago police officers and the Chicago Police Department sued after a video surfaces. CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has an exclusive look at what happened to a 14-year-old boy and the officers backgrounds.
Plain clothes Chicago Police Officer Broderick Snelling was caught on camera picking up a metal crutch, holding it awhile, then hitting a minor, who tries to protect himself, and knocking him to the ground.
Fourteen-year-old Maurice Harris said another officer, Leon Payne, ordered him to pull down his pants and underpants. The teen says the officer grabbed his genitals.
On Tuesday, Attorneys Ian Barney and Tim Fiscella filed a federal lawsuit against the officers and City of Chicago.
“He’s a small child,” said Tim Fiscella. “He’s a little over five-foot. A little over a 100 pounds. He’s taken to the back of dirty room, abused, and he felt helpless. And he felt scared.”
“Its an unlawful touching of Mr. Harris,” said Ian Barney. “It’s particularly egregious because it’s his privates.”
They say Harris was not arrested and the officers never even filled out an incident report.
“It is clear as day on the video, that an illegal strip search was conducted and an illegal battery to a minor was committed,” said Fiscella.
The boy’s family immediately filed a complaint. Chicago police and IPRA quickly obtained the 2012 video. The teen did not know it existed for years.
“For four-and-a-half years, this video sits secret,” said Barney.
The 2-Investigators found Snelling, who swung the crutch, has been in trouble before. While a cop, he had a second job at Harper High School as a security supervisor until he was fired in 2002, by the Chicago Board of Education for repeated misconduct.
Snelling, on the department since 1995, has had at least 16 CPD complaints – including four for Illegal Searches, four for Use Of Force, and Criminal Misconduct involving drugs — those were unfounded.
This summer, while facing a termination hearing involving the video, four years later, Snelling resigned.
The lawsuit says Snelling told IPRA – Harris was not resisting or doing anything. It also says this was a random search by police looking for drugs.
IPRA records say Payne initially denied strip searching the teen.
Payne was temporarily stripped of police powers then was reinstated. He also agreed, in October 2014, to a 150 day suspension because of this case, which he has not yet served. He went on medical leave in 2016 and will have to serve the suspension when he returns.