CHICAGO (CBS) — Never-before-seen video showed more of the incident in which two women were dragged out of a car by Chicago Police officers outside the Brickyard Mall.
The women were dragged out and cuffed as cellphone cameras rolled. The incident has gotten the attention of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and police Supt. David Brown.
CBS 2’s Jermont Terry on Thursday night talked to James Smith, the man who captured it all on video from inside his own car.
The mayor and the police superintendent have advised that people should not rush to judgment or jump to conclusions based on snippets of the video. But Smith, who began taking video before the takedown, insisted that the video is the reason there is an investigation.
The cellphone video and the actions of several Chicago Police officers is now at the core of an investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
“They dragged me out of the car by my hair,” said Mia Wright.
“They called her ‘f***ing savage,” said her cousin, Tnika Tate.
Wright and Tate were in the car with another woman and a man at the Brickyard Mall. It was Sunday afternoon during the height of citywide looting.
When asked if he was looting, Smith said: “Not at all. Not all. I have no reason to loot. They have no reason to loot. I mean, we’re black. We can’t be out here at Brickyard?”
Smith – a cousin to Wright and Tate – pulled out his cellphone and recorded from inside. The video shows when he first stopped two officers walking.
“They got the clubs ready – where they running to? They’re running somebody. Ooh, they’re getting Tnika’s car! Ooh, they’re getting Tnika’s car!” Smith is heard saying as he takes the video from his own car, two cars behind Tate and Wright’s. “That’s my people’s car.”
The moment the officers tried breaking the glass, you can see the car drive off. The car comes to a stop when surrounded by additional officers.
That was when Smith said his cousins were pulled to the ground by force.
“At this time these, police officers need to protect and serve,” Smith said, “and they damn sure wasn’t protecting and serving.”
There is video of a woman on the scene slapping an officer, but that woman is neither Mia Wright nor Tnika Tate.
“That young lady just got off work. She was walking up. We didn’t know her. Didn’t see her get out that car,” Smith said. “She walked up and saw a woman being thrown to the ground by police.”
Smith is adamant that the slap was not the cause of the questionable takedown, and added that they never met the woman before Sunday.
“That happened after the fact of my cousin Mia being arrested taken away and the car being busted out,” he said.
Smith is one of many who filed a complaint with COPA.
“I left feeling like, you know, they’re going to do their job,” he said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they’re working to talk to all officers involved.
“It’s not an easy thing to identify officers in a grainy video where people are moving quickly,” she said.
COPA said it will investigate thoroughly.