CHICAGO (CBS) — A swarm of police officers drew their batons and beat down the windows as they pulled two women from their vehicle outside the Brickyard Mall.
It was all caught on camera.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Wednesday night, the incident happened Sunday, right in the height of looting amid unrest in Chicago. A family pulled into the parking lot at Brickyard, at 2600 N. Narragansett Ave., only to realize things were closed and out of control.
But before they could exit, they were stopped by officers who thought they had been looting too.
“They just start bamming and hitting at my car, then they bust out three windows,” said Tnika Tate. “I feared for my life.”
Police surrounded the car. Tate, her cousin Mia Wright, and others were inside.
The family claims officers stormed their vehicle – breaking windows and pulling them out of the car for no reason at all.
But what bothers them more than anything is when Wright was yanked from the car. The family said one officer heled her down by putting his knee on her back and neck.
“They approached my car so forcefully where they just started bamming and hitting at my car, then they bust out three windows of mine, and then they actually tore off my door handle – the passenger side door handle – and they literally drug my little cousin Mia out to the ground,” Tate said.
“I felt like an animal,” Wright said. “They pulled me by my hair, dragged me out the vehicle, had my face down on the concrete. The officer had his knee in my neck. I just felt like an animal. I felt like I wasn’t nothing, like I was not even a human being at that moment.”
Wright was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has launched an investigation, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot has spoken out about what she knows as well.
“I have seen the video, and we are doing what we normally do is when we see potential allegations of police misconduct, it gets referred to COPA for immediate investigation,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
Officers did confiscate the car, but it was later released and seriously damaged. The family insisted they were never given an explanation, nor an apology.
Wright did have some glass in her eye, but emotional scars she said will outweigh the physical pain.