CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - An officer caught on video stomping on a man's head as he was being restrained on the ground by another officer has been placed on desk duty while the incident is investigated, the Chicago Police Department announced Monday.
CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson made that decision after meeting with Internal Affairs Tuesday morning and reviewing the arrest. Video of the incident, which occurred Monday, was posted on Facebook.
It was a stomp to Shaquille O'Neal's head, and a short time later, a knee to his head that got a plainclothes officer taken off the street and put on desk duty.
“You clearly have a police officer using excessive force, stomping him in the head at least twice that I've seen, and then in order to cover what they've done they add charges like aggravated battery and resisting arrest,” said O’Neal’s attorney Michael Oppenheimer.
But now we're learning more about O'Neal and what happened before the stomping.
Police were trying to arrest O’Neal after seeing a suspected drug deal. They say they found three bags of heroin on him. Police also say O'Neal did later bite the arresting officer's hand, and just before being stomped the first time, he had his hand on the officer's neck.
After the stomp, O'Neal's body then goes limp.
“I think he's a little banged up. I heard he had a bruise on his eye, as well as he's a little woozy he says, he also says he couldn't remember certain things, so we definitely want to get him checkout out again,” said family spokesperson Ja’Mal Green.
The Department of Corrections website shows O'Neal is on parole after being convicted of drug possession. But his attorney says running from police doesn't justify what happened to O'Neal.
“People run from police for all sorts of reasons. One of the problems is you have lots of young African American men who are quite simply afraid of the police and they're afraid of what police will do to them, and so they run,” Oppenheimer said.
The stomp was captured on video and Johnson on Monday had asked the Independent Police Review Authority to investigate.
“After careful consideration and reviewing the video footage, Superintendent Johnson has decided to relieve one of the officers involved in the incident that occurred on the 3900 block of West Grenshaw of his police powers while IPRA investigates the case,” CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“Since his appointment, the Superintendent has stated that accountability begins with him down to the last police officer and that he will tirelessly work to rebuild public trust in the Chicago Police Department.