COPA releases videos from physical confrontation between Nikkita Brown, Chicago police officer
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CHICAGO - Chicago's police oversight agency released videos Wednesday of the confrontation between a Black dog walker and a police officer that took place in August near the lakefront.
Lawyers for Nikkita Brown said that she was walking her dog early on Aug. 28 in Lincoln Park near the lakefront when she was harassed by a Chicago police officer and told to leave the area. The lawyers said the park was already closed.
Videos released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability included body camera video from the Chicago police officer involved in the incident as well as third-party cell phone and surveillance video. The videos were obtained by FOX 32 through a FOIA request.
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The body-cam video shows the officer getting out of the squad car and approaching Brown telling her that the park is closed.
"Get out of the park!" the officer yelled. "What do you not understand about that? The park is closed. You are trespassing on public property and you will go to jail if you do not take your dog and leave."
The officer then repeatedly tells Brown to leave the park as Brown repeatedly tells the officer to back up and to move away from her.
Eventually, the officer tells Brown that he will handcuff her if she does not leave the park. Brown then gets on her phone for a few moments before a physical altercation takes place between the two.
At one point during the confrontation, the officer's camera appears to fall off of him.
The video ends with Brown asking for the officer's name and badge number.
In surveillance video provided by COPA through a FOIA request, the same officer is seen at the lakefront confronting other people. It is unknown what the officer said to the other people walking along the beach, as no sound can be heard.
Cell phone video also released shows the confrontation from the perspective of a sanitation worker who was nearby at the time of it.
Video from bystanders shows the officer grabbing Brown and struggling with her as her dog jumps frantically and tries to help her. The officer is then seen grabbing at her body. The struggle continues for about two minutes.
Attorneys for Brown said that other people, who were white, were also in the park but were not confronted. Attorneys called it an "obvious case of racial profiling" that resulted in "emotional trauma" because of the "brutal, unprovoked and unlawful attack."
The officer was placed on desk duty pending the results of the investigations from COPA and CPD.
Although the officer was named by Brown's lawyer Keenan J. Saulter, FOX 32 will not name the officer since no criminal action has been taken.
However, the officer does have a history of excessive force, and in one case, the city paid a victim $15,000.
There's also a case pending right now for use of force.
"[He] is the kind of officer that needs to be removed from the force. This is a ticking time bomb kind of officer. Excessive use of force...and racial profiling, That's what his past taught us before we ever got to Aug. 28 of 2021," said Saulter.