A Chicago police officer accused by the feds of punching and kicking a convenience store worker and lying about it in police reports claims he’s in danger of losing his job before he goes on trial.
Now Aldo Brown wants a federal judge to intervene by lifting a restriction that prevents him from carrying a gun.
“Aldo Brown does not have his gun right now,” defense attorney Daniel Herbert told U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall on Monday.
And Herbert said that “is not going to change” even if Kendall undoes a court order prohibiting Brown from possessing “a firearm, destructive device, or other weapon.” Herbert said it simply might prevent the Chicago Police Department from firing Brown because he can’t carry a weapon.
The feds accused the 12-year veteran in November of attacking a worker at the Omar Salma convenience store on East 76th Street in 2012. The victim was initially handcuffed inside the store, but when the cuffs were removed, Brown punched the victim several times, it’s alleged.
The worker was handcuffed again and was lying face-down on the ground when Brown took a gun from the worker’s rear pants pocket and kicked him, a federal indictment claims.
Brown has yet to go to trial. But Herbert told a reporter Monday that Brown “would still have been devastated in this case” if he loses his job only to be acquitted. He said Brown “does not intend to be armed” even if the judge lifts the restriction.
The order prohibiting Brown from carrying a gun is among the conditions of his release while he awaits trial. He tried once before to persuade the judge to lift the restriction. But Kendall ruled in December it would not be appropriate to let Brown carry a weapon. Videotaped evidence against him “depicts a level of force and disregard for the safety of others,” she ruled.
But Herbert wrote in a court filing last week that CPD’s human resources division “stripped” Brown of his police powers once the restriction was put in place. Herbert said his client sought a leave of absence so the restriction would not cost him his job. Then, onJune 9, he said Brown received a letter from CPD indicating he would be fired if he didn’t return to work by June 12.
CPD agreed to put that decision on hold until the judge rules, Herbert wrote.
Though the judge said Monday it’s not “appropriate” for her to get involved in personnel decisions at CPD, she asked a prosecutor to look into the matter. Both sides are expected to return to her courtroom July 9.