Second cop stripped of police powers as COPA investigates body slam incident

The officer who slammed Bernard Kersh to the pavement was stripped of his police powers. Wednesday, COPA said that the agency had recommended another officer — the one who placed Kersh in a police vehicle — also be stripped of his police powers.

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An image taken from a cellphone video that was posted to social media Nov. 28, 2019, shows a Chicago police officer lift a man off his feet and slam him to the ground after he allegedly spit on the officer while being detained for drinking in public in Chatham.

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A second Chicago police officer has been stripped of their police powers as the CPD’s oversight agency investigates a controversial body slam incident that was captured on cellphone video last week.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday, officers saw a 29-year-old man drinking alcohol at a bus stop in the 800 block of East 79thStreet and approached him, according to police.

Police said the man became “irate” and licked the face of an officer and verbally threatened the officers. When the man spit in an officer’s eye and mouth, the officer performed an “emergency takedown,” police said.

Video posted to Facebook shows the man — Bernard Kersh — standing against a police vehicle before an officer picks him up and throws him to the ground.

Kersh was later charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer, misdemeanor counts of assault and resisting arrest, as well as a count of drinking alcohol in public.

The officer who slammed Kersh to the pavement was stripped of his police powers last Friday.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said Wednesday that the agency had recommended another officer — the one who placed Kersh in a police vehicle — also be stripped of his police powers.

CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Interim Supt. Charlie Beck reviewed the recommendation and ultimately agreed.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot decried the 41-second video as “very disturbing.”

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