A Chicago police officer is being probed by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability after repeatedly banging a 16-year-old with a pair of handcuffs last month.
A cellphone video recorded on Nov. 25 showed officers arresting a teen who’s been identified as Skyler Miller at a subway station after cops said he matched the description of a robbery suspect.
“We had a crew of young individuals going around on the Red Line robbing people, and he was identified as a possible suspect with that particular group. So that’s why they were approaching him,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson told CBS Chicago on Monday, Dec 3.
Officers claimed Miller, who was reportedly waiting peacefully with his group of friends at the train station, resisted arrest and began threatening authorities by thrashing his arms around. Cops also said the boy clenched his fists in a fighting manner, which triggered them to conduct a “takedown” on the team.
Miller, who’s a student at Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, recounted the incident differently.
“Two officers came up and one threw me against the wall and they tried to put the cuffs on me,” the 16-year-old told Chicago Sun-Times. “They didn’t tell me why. They didn’t tell me what I was arrested for.”
Authorities later released Miller from jail without charge because they failed to relocate the victim who was allegedly robbed, according to CPD.
In the cellphone video, a gang of officers tries to detain the teen, and that’s when a Black officer began striking Miller in the head several times with a pair of cuffs. Another cop slapped the phone of the person recording the incident. The outraged crowd began shouting their rights to officers by saying they have the right to record. Miller is then brought to his feet and appears dazed.
The teenager told the news outlet he’s been in contact with the CPD and plans to file a lawsuit against the department for the cop’s alleged excessive force.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is now investigating the unidentified officer seen in the video, according to a CPD spokeswoman.
“This was an incident where an individual was resisting arrest,” CPD stated. “A use of force investigation has been opened into the Officers’ actions by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) to establish if policies were violated and CPD will fully cooperate with COPAs investigation.”