CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The man seen on video being stomped in the head by a police officer during an arrest Monday afternoon has been released from police custody and will not face criminal charges.
“No charges, he's free, police will pay for what they did because you know you don't treat a dog that way,” family members cheered as they celebrated Shaquille O'Neal’s release.
The 23-year-old West Side man was released out the back door of the 10th District Police Station without a shirt, and FOX 32 was there and spoke exclusively to O’Neal and his family.
“I am recently on parole, so I really count it a blessing, so I want to thank everybody in my family for being here for me, everybody that was on the block who was there for me. I want to thank y'all too,” Shaquille O’Neal said.
There were numerous people shooting cellphone video Monday as O'Neal struggled with the officer trying to arrest him on suspected drug charges in the 3900 Block of West Grenshaw. When O'Neal put his hands on the officer's neck, another officer came over and stomped O'Neal in the head. He said he blacked out.
“I don't know what happened after they said he kicked me, I just woke up in the hospital, that's it,” O’Neal said.
But O'Neal said he's okay now.
“I am all right, I'm all right, I'm all right, they didn't do too much to me,” O’Neal said.
A female relative with him chimed in, “He good, he good, They ain't hurt him, they ain't break a real man.”
O'Neal's mother was still in disbelief over what she saw on the videos.
“I was just shocked at the way they treat people, like they give them other stuff to use like Mace, taze him, you don't have to do that to hold him down, I know they give you other stuff to use, instead they doing that to him,” said Loleta Lodge.
Just 24 hours earlier, police said that officers found three bags of heroin on O'Neal, who was on parole for a previous drug conviction. It was expected he would be charged with drug possession, resisting arrest and aggravated battery to a police officer. But no charges were filed and O’Neal denied doing anything wrong Monday.
“I just ran, that's about it,” O’Neal said. When asked why, he responded, “I ran because they was chasing me like a couple days before that.”
After going home, taking a shower and getting in some clean clothes, O'Neal and his family, supporters and attorneys held a news conference.
“They made the right move in releasing him without charges. I am asking and I believe based on the two videos that we have seen, that not only disciplinary action be taken against that police officer and anybody involved with him, but that there be a criminal investigation,” said Michael Oppenheimer, O'Neal's Attorney
O'Neal declined to speak at the news conference, but did address that issue earlier when he spoke to FOX 32 and was asked what he thought should happen to the police officer that stomped him and then kneed him in the head.
“I don't really know, but he's going to get what's coming to him, not from me, but from God,” O’Neal said.
His attorney said he will be filing a federal civil rights lawsuit in the coming days. The officer who stomped O’Neal was put on desk duty Monday night within hours of the incident.