CHICAGO - Disturbing video appears to show Chicago police swarm a car Sunday afternoon outside of the Brickyard Mall, pulling two African American women out of it and then kneeling on one of them.
The family of the women say they were just there to shop, but believe police mistook them for looters and took action before asking any questions.
Those women say they still do not know why they were pulled out of their car. The video of the altercation has gone viral and now an investigation is underway.
James Smith was waiting on his family in the Brickyard Mall parking lot when he started recording looting. But then, Chicago police surrounded his cousin’s car.
“They broke the door handle. One officer held the car for leverage to hit the window,” Smith said.
The cellphone video is intense. The officers do not appear to ask any questions. They just surround the car, using their billy clubs to smash the windows.
“They pulled me by my bun, by my hair and pulled me out of the vehicle. They slammed her to the ground. He put his knee on her back towards her neck,” said Mia Wright.
She was then carted off to the emergency room and jail.
“They had to numb my eye. They had to use a magnifying glass to find the glass in my eye,” Wright said.
She says she was charged with disorderly conduct. The family is still traumatized and puzzled over what the confrontation was all about.
“I don’t feel we were given an opportunity to say anything to them. We weren’t told anything. It was like our rights were totally violated,” Tnika Tate said. “They were racist. They called us b****** and they called her a f***ing savage.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot did say an investigation into the officers’ conduct is now underway.
“COPA is investigating. They are getting the video. They are working to see who the officers are,” Lightfoot said.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Chicago Police Department have each launched an investigation into the incident.