Chicago cop charged with misconduct for striking man with baton in 2014

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CHICAGO -- A Chicago officer was stripped of his police powers and charged with Aggravated Battery and Official Misconduct, both felonies, by Cook County prosecutors two years after he hit a man in the face with his service baton at a West Side block party.

It happened following a July 2014 block party in North Lawndale, where residents were celebrating after two local teens signed a record deal with a major Atlanta label, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Bystander video released by IPRA shows what happened next. A crowd gathers around as officer Brett Kahn, 31, slams a woman, Lisa Simmons, against the hood of a squad car. He then takes Simmons to officers waiting near a police van. She was one of five people arrested that night for charges including drinking in public and resisting a police officer, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Kahn walks to the center of the street and extends his baton. "Get off the street or you're going to jail!" he yells while walking in a circle.

Kahn then walks up to Jeremiah Smith, and while their initial encounter is obscured by an officer in the street, Kahn strikes Smith in the head, sending his baseball cap flying. Smith is then placed under arrest.

In his police report, Kahn wrote that he initially stopped on the street after seeing Simmons and Smith drinking in the public way. Kahn wrote that as he was attempting to arrest Smith, he pulled away and threw a punch with his left hand. This initial scuffle is not shown clearly in the video. Then Kahn, "in fear of receiving a battery," struck Smith with his baton.

Smith and Simmons sued the Chicago Police Department in 2015 and settled for an undisclosed sum.

After he was charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery, Kahn turned himself in to authorities Thursday morning.

Kahn was released on a $50,000 I-bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay any money.

He’s next due in court on September 26.


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