A Chicago police officer has been assigned desk duty pending an investigation of his behavior towards a Black woman who was walking her dog. Although she perfectly followed orders to leave, the officer decided to manhandle Nikkita Brown as she attempted to exit the area.
A cellphone video recorded early Saturday morning at North Avenue Beach shows Brown yelling for help as the officer first walks aggressively towards her and then grabs her, causing her to bend at the waist while his hands are around her upper body.
The Chicago police officer asked Brown to leave the beach because it was closed.
Brown was compliant and turned, with her dog’s leash in hand, and began to walk towards the beach’s exit.
It is unknown whether Brown was not walking fast enough for the officer or what triggered him. The officer did not arrest Brown and let her go after he finished strangely manhandling her.
However, the Chicago Police Department was quick to respond once the video made rounds on social media.
CPD is aware of a video circulating on social media regarding an incident involving a Chicago Police officer and a woman walking her dog at North Avenue Beach. CPD promptly referred the matter to @ChicagoCOPA when we became aware of the incident.
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) August 29, 2021
Police Superintendent David Brown announced that he relieved the officer in question of his street duties and placed him on administrative tasks at the recommendation of COPA. He also asked the public not to rush to judgment.
“We don’t have an arrest apparently by this officer and don’t fully understand because we have not interviewed this officer and COPA will be in charge of that interview. I believe COPA (Citizen’s Office of Police Accountability) has reached out to the person you see on video walking the dog that had a struggle with the officer. I believe they are initiating that conversation, Brown said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot also called for an investigation of what is seen in the video.
I am deeply concerned by what is depicted on the lakefront beach in that video.
I am aware of the incident and it is currently under investigation.
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) August 30, 2021
Brown’s lawyer said she called 911 after she returned home and reported the incident but noted that there were other people on the beach and she believes she was targeted due to her race.
COPA says it is working with Brown’s lawyer who is demanding to know who the officer is so that they can file a formal complaint.