Oak Lawn violent arrest: Teen victim's family calls for more officers to be charged

Lawyers for a 17-year-old boy whose beating by Oak Lawn police was captured on video are applauding the decision to file charges filed against one of the officers.

The veteran cop has been indicted by a Cook County grand jury, but Oak Lawn officials say they still haven’t been told about any charges against one of their officers. 

Hadi Abuatelah stood quietly with his parents as leaders of the Arab American community held a news conference Wednesday to applaud charges against one of the cops who allegedly beat him. 

"I just hope this is not hot air," said Zaid Abdullah, an attorney for the teen and his family. "I hope that it ends in a conviction to send a message that this was not right. The actions, they were brutal. They were borne out of hate."

Police video from last July shows Abuatelah being wrestled to the ground by three Oak Lawn police officers, who then hit him repeatedly on the head and legs. He suffered fractures to his face, skull and pelvis.


Oak Lawn Police say the teen had fled after a traffic stop, and they later recovered a loaded handgun in a bag he was carrying. Abuatelah was later charged with gun possession.

But Ahmed Rehab, executive director of CAIR Chicago, said that doesn’t justify the brutality of the arrest. 

"Let’s assume for a moment that this person had to be arrested legally. This is not the way to do it. And it knows civilization, at no time, and no place on earth, is this kind of behavior acceptable," said Rehab.

On Tuesday a Cook County grand jury led by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx indicted Oak Lawn police officer Patrick O’Donnell on counts of aggravated battery and official misconduct.

But the Arab American leaders say it shouldn’t stop there. 

"It’s not just one officer that took part in the brutal assault," said Muhammad Sankari of the Arab-American Action Network. "It’s three officers and all three of them need to be charged and all three of them need to be brought to justice."

A spokesman for Oak Lawn said they are not commenting because they have not received any information from the state's attorney’s office about the indictment. 

He also said they have not received the Illinois State Police investigation into the incident. 

A spokesperson for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx also declined to comment.