CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police have called for charges against the man shot by police at a CTA station Friday be dropped.
In a statement, police said Interim Supt. Charlie Beck has asked Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office to drop the resisting arrest and criminal narcotics charges against Ariel Roman.
“Given the totality of the circumstances and the Department’s significant level of concern around this incident, it would be insensitive to advocate for these charges,” a release from police states. “While we will not rush to judgment, the level of concern over the tactics used in this incident is significant.”
State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said the charges were filed directly by Chicago Police and did not come through prosecutors – as is the case with all felony drug cases and misdemeanor cases. But Simonton said Chicago Police requested, and the State’s Attorney’s office agreed, that charges should be dismissed Sunday.
CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said it was clear Roman did resist.
“There’s no question it was resisting arrest,” said CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller. “The law says you can’t even resist an illegal arrest.”
But despite that opinion from Miller, the former head of felony review for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, charges of resisting arrest were dropped Sunday against Roman.
“It’s totally up to the prosecutor’s office to charge a case or dismiss a case – totally within their discretion,” Miller said.
Miller said Beck is likely planning disciplinary action against the officers.
“I suspect he’s going to suspend, terminate, or approve criminal charges and didn’t want these criminal charges there when that happened,” he said.
The CPD is cooperating with the use of force investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and a review being conducted by the State’s Attorney’s office and FBI at the department’s request.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported, two officers got into a struggle at the Grand Avenue stop on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line after the officers tried to stop the man from moving between train cars. Video of the incident was posted on social media.
Deputy Police Supt. Barb West on Friday night said the officers were assigned to the Mass Transit Unit and observed the man improperly moving between train cars, which is against city ordinance. They engaged with the suspect on the platform when the struggle ensued.
The officers have been placed on administrative duties. While Miller is not going to be charged, the FBI could recommend the opposite for the officers.
“They could easily say, ‘We believe these officers acted inappropriately and should be charged criminally,’” Miller said.
Video posted on social media shows two officers struggling to handcuff the suspect on the train platform at the bottom of the stairs. In the video, an officer is heard yelling for Roman to “stop resisting” – something the officer screamed more than 10 times.
The officers then both deploy their Tasers. But the man breaks free, staggers to his feet and appears to wipe his face, apparently from pepper spray.
One of the officers then steps back and pulls her weapon and yells, “Sir, put your hands down!” The second the officers yells, “Shoot him,” although it is unclear whether he meant with more pepper spray or with a gun.
Earlier, an officer said “shoot him” and the other officer used pepper spray.
Seconds later, the female officer draws her weapon, and when the man walks away from the wall while rubbing his face, a first shot rings out.
After that shot was fired, the man runs up the escalator. Both officers pursue the man. After the man reaches the top of the escalator, another shot is heard off camera. One of tasers is also seen on the escalator stairs. Another video on social media shows the man lying at the top of the escalator unresponsive with two officers standing over him. It is unclear if those are the same officers who pursued the man up the steps.
As the struggle continues for at least three minutes, the man is heard saying, “I didn’t do nothing to you guys!”
The Chicago Fire Department confirmed Roman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious to critical condition. He remained at the hospital with two bullet wounds Sunday night.
Roman’s attorney, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, released a statement late Sunday:
“The Roman Family is pleased with the decision of the State Attorney’s Office and the Chicago Police’s Department’s decision to dismiss all charges. At this time my clients, the Roman family, have been reunited and are enjoying time with Ariel as he recuperates. He remembers everything about the incident that took place and is fully committed to cooperating with the various investigations. They thank the City of Chicago for all of their prayers and support and request for privacy during this very difficult time.”
“He’s awake now and enjoying time with his family. He is listed as stable. I’m headed to see him again tomorrow night.”