OAK LAWN, Ill. - The Oak Lawn Village Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday was extended to accommodate all the people who wanted to comment on police conduct after a 17-year-old was taken into custody last month in a controversial arrest.
In video captured by police and bystanders, the teenager is seen running away from a traffic stop. Three officers caught up to him and were seen punching him while holding him on the ground.
Police said they found a loaded gun on him.
Supporters of the teen came to the meeting to push for the firing of the officers.
The Oak Lawn Board of Trustees countered with another video, showing news coverage of police officers shot in the line of duty. It played between the statements of longtime residents who, one after another, rose to comment in support of the police and their actions.
"If that young man had gotten to his pistol and fired and hit someone or whatever, he may never see the light of day again, so that mother should be grateful," one speaker said.
One speaker, who earlier stood outside earlier with members of the Arab American Action Network, condemned the actions of Oak Lawn police.
"This is disgraceful behavior that these officers should be held accountable for what they've done," he said. "I think that they should be fired immediately. I think this should be a great opportunity for the Village of Oak Lawn to clean up its police force."
Most of the public speakers were supportive of the police.
But one resident, who did not want to go on camera, said the meeting was a waste of time and never did address the lingering question: What constitutes excessive use of force?