Chicago officer involved in takedown video relieved of police powers

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CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer has been relieved of his police powers pending a review after a video on social media showed him throwing a man to the ground.

A woman recorded a video of video at 79th and Cottage Grove Thursday afternoon, and posted it to Facebook. You can see the man's head bounce off the ground.

On Friday night, Chicago police confirmed with WGN News that the officer involved has been stripped of his police powers.

"The use of force investigation into this incident is now being handled exclusively by the Chicago Office of Police Accountabity. We are cooperating fully & they've asked for the officer involved to be relieved of police powers pending their review. CPD concurred," CPD Chief Communication Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.

Police told WGN they were performing a "street stop," because they saw the man drinking alcohol in public.

“He slammed and picked him up and 'pow' on the concrete,” a witness said. “He hit his head very hard."

Police said they approached the 29-year-old man who was drinking alcohol at a bus stop. Police said the man licked one of the officer’s in the face, verbally threatened him and then spit in the officer’s eyes and mouth.

Police then threw him to the ground.

An ambulance took the officer to the hospital, but Chicago police said the 29-year-old man refused to be transported via ambulance. He was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in stable condition. As of Friday night, he's been released from the hospital and is reportedly in police custody.

Mayor Lightfoot tweeted that she viewed the cell phone video and called it “very disturbing.”

"While a single video does not depict the entirety of the interactions between police and the individual, this particular video is very disturbing,” she tweeted.

The mayor called for an expedited investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

A police spokesman told WGN the actions in the video are "concerning," and will be thoroughly investigated.

"You could have handcuffed him and sat him on the curb or did something else, but to pick him up and slam him on his head knowing this is pure concrete down here,”  a witness named Jovonna said. "You're not thinking, you're not even caring about the fact that this man's life could be ended for something so stupid."

They later issued the following statement:

The incident is under investigation as the actions in the video are concerning. The specifics of what transpired prior to officers executing an emergency takedown will be scrutinized closely by us and COPA. If wrongdoing is discovered, officers will be held accountable.

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