A 22-year-old man on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging a Chicago Police officer used excessive force in arresting him after he called out for help because he’d just been robbed at gunpoint.
A Facebook video viewed more than 57,000 times shows the officer punching Robert Foreman four times before he was handcuffed Sunday afternoon near 88th and Wabash in the West Chesterfield neighborhood on the South Side.
Police officials said the officer was going to ticket Foreman for public drinking when he ran away. Foreman resisted arrest when the officer caught him, police said.
Attorney Gregory Kulis, who represents Foreman, said the officers “fabricated numerous criminal charges” to “cover up the unlawful use of force.”
Foreman was charged with drinking in the public way and resisting arrest — misdemeanors — and was released Monday after posting a $3,000 bond, Kulis said.
“I didn’t see him resisting,” Kulis said. “The first thing out of this guy’s mouth is, ‘I just got robbed.’ You hear him screaming that over the video. You think he had time to concoct a story like this?”
The officer who punched Foreman was not placed on desk duty or stripped of his police powers, but police Supt. Eddie Johnson launched an internal investigation and said the video and all police reports will be sent to the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates allegations of excessive force by cops.
Dean Angelo, president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, said such videos have unfairly portrayed officers in a negative light.
“There are so many things that are missing from these cell-phone captures,” he said.
In Foreman’s case, “he put himself in the situation,” Angelo said. “He was the one running from the police. All the individual had to do is put his hands behind his back.”
“Things are upside down right now with the lack of respect for law enforcement,” Angelo said.
According to the lawsuit, Foreman was robbed by a young gunman who stepped out of a gangway near 87th and State. After the robbery, Foreman started to chase his assailant, the lawsuit said.
The officer and his partner pulled up in their squad car and stopped Foreman, who told them he’d been robbed, the lawsuit said.
On the video, the officer says, “Put your hands behind your back.”
The officer punches Foreman four times.
“I’m not fighting,” Foreman yells repeatedly.
“Put your hands behind your back,” the officer says again.
A second officer runs up and handcuffs Foreman.
Foreman says, “Stop, I can’t breathe.”
Two officers walk up to take Foreman away.
“Stand up, get on your knees,” one officer tells him.
Foreman repeats he can’t breathe while an officer lifts him up by an arm.
The officer who punched Foreman documented his use of force in a police report, a source said.
Foreman has a criminal history, police said. He was sentenced to community service after he was convicted of drug possession in 2015, records show.