CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Less than 24 hours after celebrating his release from police custody, the man who was seen on cellphone video being stomped by Chicago police during an arrest on Monday was back in custody Thursday afternoon.
Twenty-three-year-old Shaquille O'Neal was arrested around 12:30 p.m. at his house on West Lexington Street. He was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, aggravated battery by strangulation and drug possession from the Monday incident. In addition, because he was reportedly combative during the arrest Thursday, he was also charged with aggravated battery to a police officer and resisting arrest.
“When I arrived the sister just came out screaming saying Eric, they just arrested him, they just beat him, they just tased him,” said Eric Russell with the Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois.
O'Neal was initially arrested on Monday, suspected of drug possession. But in several cellphone videos that went viral, a police officer is seen stomping on O'Neal's head after O'Neal choked the arresting officer.
O'Neal was released two days later and it was presumed by his family and attorney that he was not going to be charged.
But as it turns out, prosecutors needed more time to have the case investigated, including having some videos enhanced and more witnesses interviewed before they brought charges, and they were up against the 48 hour charging deadline, so O'Neal had to be released.
Earlier in the day, his attorney and supporters complained that police were playing cat and mouse with them.
“Clearly they are trying to hide him from us, I want to see if my client is OK, if he needs medical attention, to make sure that his rights are being protected and I am being denied that and he's being denied his rights,” said Michael Oppenheimer, O'Neal's Attorney
On Thursday night, O'Neal's attorney did get to see O'Neal where he was in police custody at Illinois Masonic Hospital.
“Right now he is a political prisoner, this is a war between the State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Mayor Emanuel, it needs to stop,” said Ja'Mal Green, a family spokesman.
O’Neal was initially expected to be in bond court Friday afternoon, but that could be pushed back to Saturday with O’Neal remaining hospitalized overnight.