The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating a Chicago police officer who appears to strike a teen repeatedly with a pair of handcuffs in a cellphone video recorded last week at the Roosevelt Red Line station in the South Loop.
About 6:50 p.m. Nov. 25, officers tried to detain a 16-year-old boy matching the description of a robbery subject as he waited for a train at the station, 1167 S. State St., according to Chicago police. When he threatened the officers, clenched his fists and started flailing his arms, the officers performed a “take down” on the boy, who was independently identified as Skyler Miller.
Miller was arrested and later released without being charged after officers failed to get statements from the victims of the alleged robbery, police said.
Miller, who attends Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, recalls the incident differently.
“Two officers came up and and one threw me against the wall and they tried to put the cuffs on me,” he said. “They didn’t tell me why. They didn’t tell me what I was arrested for.”
Cellphone video of the incident appears to show an officer strike Miller over the head five times with a closed fist and a pair of handcuffs. Moments later, the same officer menaces a gathering throng while making a fist and holding the handcuffs.
“Come on, come on,” the officer is heard saying.
Another officer then slaps at the cellphone of the person recording the incident, at which point some of the onlookers begin cursing at the officers. Moments later, the video shows officers lift Miller to his feet after placing him in handcuffs. The teen appears dazed and has a hard time getting his footing.
A police spokeswoman said in a statement that COPA was now investigating the officer.
“This was an incident where an individual was resisting arrest,” the statement said. “A use of force investigation has been opened into the Officers’ actions by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) to establish if policies were violated and CPD will fully cooperate with COPAs investigation.”
Ephraim Eaddy, a COPA spokesman, confirmed the agency was investigating the use of force.
Miller said he has already been in touch with investigators looking into the incident, and he now plans to file a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department.