‘I didn’t know if he was alive’: Mother of man with schizophrenia slammed by CPD officer speaks out

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CHICAGO — A mother didn’t know what happened to her son following a Thanksgiving call until she saw a viral video of him being slammed by a CPD officer.

“I’m looking at this video and I see my son laying on the ground lifeless,” Keshia Johnson said. “And I didn’t know if he was alive or not.”

Keshia Johnson said she was on the phone with her son, Bernard Kersh, when officers approached the 29-year-old.

Kersh, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, was slammed by a Chicago police officer after police said he licked and spit on the officer.

The officer involved has been relieved of his police powers, pending a review.

"I heard the paramedic was called for the officer not my son and I don’t know why if he was unconscious,” Johnson said. “(The officer) needs to be retrained.”

Kersh was released from the hospital and remains in custody of Chicago police. Johnson spoke with her son and he told her his head “was swollen and aching.”

The mayor took to twitter to call the video “very disturbing.” Witnesses to the incident are saying similar things.

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

Charges against Kersh are pending. A CPD spokesperson said the department is not aware of any bodycam footage of the incident.

COPA is still investigating after the officer was relieved of his police powers.

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