CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Police Department has opened an investigation into the arrest of a man in West Englewood, after the family said cell phone video proves officers used excessive force.
The video posted on Facebook shows 34-year-old Jermaine Milan on his stomach on the street, with a plain clothes officer straddling him, and repeatedly hitting him in the head.
Milan was arrested Monday near 70th and Wolcott. In video of the arrest, an officer can be heard yelling “spit it out.”
Police said the officers were arresting two drug suspects, and Milan was not cooperating.
“The Chicago Police Department takes the conduct of officers very seriously. We became aware of the video documenting plain clothes officers attempting to arrest a noncompliant offender after a suspected narcotics transaction last night. An investigation into the incident has been opened and the matter will be referred to the Independent Police Review Authority for a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of the incident,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an email.
Milan was arrested on ecstasy possession charges. He was being held at the Cook County Jail on $75,000 bail. His booking photo shows Milan wearing a large bandage above his bruised and swollen left eye.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president Kevin Graham defended the officer’s actions.
“Last night, plain clothes officers arrested two men in the seventh district for narcotics violations. The first offender complied with the officers’ commands and was arrested without incident. The second offender, armed with a knife, refused to comply with officers. In order to maintain control and make an arrest, the officers used open-hand strikes on the offender. We believe the officers were clearly in compliance with general orders and the use of force policy. It is difficult to make such in an arrest in a hostile crowd. The officers did a good job,” Graham said in a statement.
The investigation of the incident comes as the department prepares to unveil a new use of force policy on Wednesday at Police Headquarters.