Supt. Brown recommends firing cop who dragged woman by hair, knelt on her neck
Officer David Laskus used unreasonable force and should be fired, according to police documents filed this month by Brown.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown is seeking to fire an officer who dragged a woman by her hair out of a car and knelt on her neck — an encounter that was captured on a cellphone video that went viral.
Officer David Laskus came under internal investigation after the incident on May 31, 2020, in the parking lot of Brickyard Mall on the Northwest Side where he smashed a window of the car Mia Wright was in, pulled Wright out by her hair and knelt on her neck.
Brown recommended this month that Officer David Laskus be fired for various violations, including engaging in an “unjustified verbal or physical altercation,” using unreasonable force and making a false report.
Laskus’ fate will now be in the hands of the Chicago Police Board, which will hear evidence on the matter in the coming weeks in a hearing that will resemble a trial.
The hair-dragging incident occurred during a tumultuous weekend that saw demonstrations and looting that started downtown and spread to Chicago neighborhoods. The protests were sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Wright was in a car with several family members when police, for no apparent reason, began to smash the windows of the vehicle with batons and order everyone out.
Laskus grabbed Wright’s hair, which had been wound into a bun, and yanked her from the car.
While Wright was on the ground, he knelt on her back and neck.
Wright, who got a piece of glass in her eye from the shattered window, was held overnight at a nearby police station.
The city settled a lawsuit brought by Wright and others with her that day for $1.67 million.
Wright said the violent actions by police left her blind in her right eye, potentially ending her dream of becoming a paramedic.
The family was befuddled as to why police targeted their car.
Wright and her family members were trying to exit the mall parking lot after finding out the Target store where they wanted to shop was closed.
“If you wanted our attention, all you had to do was knock on the window,” Wright’s mother, Kim Woods, said shortly after the encounter.