Woman who lost a tooth when Chicago police officer hit her with a cellphone calls his resignation ‘cowardly’
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability found Nicholas Jovanovich had used excessive force against Miracle Boyd, who was at a protest at the Columbus statue Grant Park in July 2020. The incident was captured on cellphone video.
The young woman who lost a tooth when a Chicago police officer allegedly shoved her cellphone into her face two years ago has branded the officer “cowardly” for resigning months before an independent investigation into the incident was made public.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability found Nicholas Jovanovich had used excessive force on July 17, 2020.
“Police Officer Nicholas Jovanovich has chosen to escape accountability after patrolling our neighborhoods for more than a year after assaulting me,” Miracle Boyd said to reporters outside the Thompson Center on Friday.
“Two years to conclude a report and make amends, but instead [Jovanovich] cowardly leaves the force.”
Jovanovich resigned effective in April this year.
COPA, which investigates officers’ use of force, released a report on the incident Wednesday. The report found that Jovanovich used excessive and unnecessary force against Boyd when — as captured by cellphone video — he struck her in the face as protesters tried to take down the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park.
Boyd, 20, said she lost a tooth, and the confrontation sparked widespread outcry.
COPA noted Jovanovich and his partner blocked Boyd’s path as she used her phone to record officers who were clashing with protesters. Jovanovich extended his left arm and knocked Boyd’s phone from her hand, “causing the phone to hit her face and knock out one of her front teeth,” COPA said in its report.
Jovanovich was also accused of filing a false police report by claiming Boyd was swinging an “unknown object” when she approached officers. He stated that he believed she “was going to batter the arresting officers or attempt to defeat the arrest.”
The incident was captured on video by a third party across the street and shows Boyd backing up as Jovanovich approaches her. When shown the video by COPA investigators, Jovanovich pointed out that the footage was taken from a distance and captured a different perspective than he had at the time. Jovanovich denied making any contact with Boyd’s face.
Jovanovich could not be reached for comment Friday.
Boyd said she found out Wednesday that Jovanovich had resigned. She said she had tried unsuccessfully to reach Jovanovich to urge him to take part in a “restorative justice circle.”
Boyd, who is an organizer with the activist group GoodKidsMadCity, is part of a federal lawsuit filed against Jovanovich, other officers involved in the July 2020 protest and the city of Chicago.