A Chicago police officer, who made national headlines when he grabbed a Black woman walking with her dog in the middle of the night in a local park, has resigned from his job on the force. According to his union, he quit because he was tired of all the “scrutiny” he received “for doing his job.”
Officer Bruce Dyker, who has served about 24 years in law enforcement, resigned from the Chicago Police Department after being investigated for his use of force and placed on administrative duty for confronting Nikkita Brown on Saturday, Aug. 28, at North Avenue Beach (near the 1600 Block of North Lake Shore Drive) as she walked her French bulldog, Blanco, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The department confirmed Dyker left the CPD in May, handing in his badge before disciplinary charges based on findings from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s investigation were given to city officials.
On October 28, COPA concluded its investigation of the incident and determined the officer “forcibly grabbed Ms. Brown and a physical altercation ensued.”
While the COPA’s recommendations to Police Supt. David Brown are unknown, the discipline could have ranged from suspension to termination.
Video evidence, from a cellphone and the officer’s bodycam, showed Dyker aggressively engaging Brown, and her telling him multiple times he was intimidating her.
Footage of the incident showed the officer exiting his patrol vehicle and walking up to Brown.
Upon first contact with Brown, he immediately tells her to leave the park because it was closed.
Brown turns to walk away from the officer, but he continues to follow her. Brown is heard on the footage saying, “You need to move away from me. I feel threatened.”
Dyker snaps back, “Good.”
Despite her telling him how uncomfortable she felt, he continued to confront her, saying, “I’m about to put handcuffs on you if you don’t keep walking.”
As he moves closer, the woman says, “Back up.”
“Do you want to test me on this?” Dyker responds.
“Back up,” she said again before the officer gripped her and shook her up for a little over a minute.
Brown filed a complaint against Dyker. She believes his conduct was fueled by racism and wanted him to be criminally prosecuted.
She also said this doesn’t stain how she sees other members of CPD. Brown said, “But I don’t think every officer out there is bad. There’s always a bad apple.”
“The sergeant who came to my house to take my statement was actually quite pleasant and, in my opinion, did everything to calm me down and that showed me that there are good officers out there,” she continued.
But the 52-year-old officer, she believed, should have been fired. However, before the city could discipline him for his actions, he quit.
John Catanzara, the head and principal voice of the Chicago Police Union, said while Dyker won’t be giving a formal response about his resignation, he believes people were unjustly targeting him.
He said, “Bruce just had enough of the nonsense and scrutiny for doing his job. He got the hell out of this city and got the hell out of this state and is moving on with his life.”
Michael Gallagher, Brown’s lawyer, believes Catanzara’s comments were examples of the Good Ole Boys Club that allows bad cops to operate in abusive ways.
The attorney said, “The FOP President Catanzara’s claim that Officer Dyker was ‘just doing his job’ is just another example of him covering for rogue officers.”
“Based on his horrible record, Officer Dyker’s badge should have been taken away years ago,” he stated.
Since joining the force in 1998, Dyker has accumulated 25 complaints against him. Three of those claims were sustained. After ten years as a cop, he was disciplined for an altercation in New Tazewell, Tennessee, where he was suspended for 20 days.
Reports say he allegedly verbally abused and aimed his firearm at a victim, operating outside of his lawful police authority.
The most serious disciplinary measure he faced stemmed from a November 2008 off-duty domestic incident in New Tazewell, Tennessee. Dyker was suspended for 20 days after he allegedly verbally abused and pointed his weapon at a victim and failed to follow lawful police orders.
According to the CPD’s website, it had 11 use of force reports, 84 percent more than other officers. When assessing his career in the department, considering all “complaints from civilians, complaints from other police officers, and self-reported use of force,” he averaged above 80 percent more than other officers in violations.
Despite these staggering statistics, in almost every instance, save a handful, investigators concluded the allegations against Dyker were unfounded or that he had acted within departmental regulations.
Between each complaint, he consistently received praise as an officer including the “Presidential Election Deployment,” “2009 Crime Reduction Award,” and an award for saving someone’s life.