CHICAGO — A recording of a phone call from Nikkita Brown to 911 tells her side of the story about why a Chicago police officer restrained her as she walked her dog on the lakefront in the early morning hours of Aug. 28.
“Without warrant, I was profiled. I was threatened, and he threatened to drop me on several occasions,” Brown said.
Brown’s attorney, Keenan Saulter, said Thursday that he identified the officer involved. WGN News is not naming the officer, as he has not been charged or formally named in any lawsuit. Saulter said the officer was accused of misconduct at least three times.
“She immediately indicated she felt she had been targeted. She immediately indicated that she felt she had been profiled,” Saulter said.
In the video, a cop gets out of his SUV and waves his arms at Brown, telling her to leave the lakefront. Her attorney said she told the unmasked officer to give her six feet of distance.
She then took out her cell phone and began recording, and soon the officer wrapped his arms around her and restrained her for about a minute.
The incident remains under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).
Saulter says neither COPA nor the city has provided materials he has requested – police reports and police body camera footage.
“Sadly – even though the mayor has indicated repeatedly that she’s concerned with transparency for victims of alleged misconduct – we’ve only received the perfunctory automatic responses to the FOIA requests,” Saulter said.
He says based on his own investigation, he believes the incident was a case of racial profiling.
“This officer in particular, and other rogue officers, will continue to violate the rights of the citizens of Chicago if we don’t hold them to account,” Saulter said.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had said she was “deeply concerned” about the video.
“I saw the video. I was quite disturbed by what I saw. It looked like the woman was following the directions of the officer leaving the beach.”
The attorney says he has filed his own Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests for the videos and the police reports and believes he will have them within the next 30 days. The officer involved in the incident has been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation by COPA.