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Charges Dropped Against Chicago Cop Who ‘Forcibly Grabbed’ Black Woman Walking Dog In Park After Oversight Board Concluded She Was Not Racially Profiled

A former Chicago police officer who went viral for appearing to use excessive force on a Black female dog walker has had all charges against him related to the incident dropped.

An oversight agency, brought in to evaluate evidence from the incident, determined despite his actions being enough to have him fired or suspended, nothing supported claims that his actions were racially motivated, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Officer Manhandles Black Woman Walking Dog
The footage was captured Saturday morning at North Avenue Beach, and shows a woman identified as Nikkita Brown by her attorney Keenan Saulter, walking her dog. Photo: Block Club Chicago/ YouTube screenshot.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped charges against ex-cop Bruce Dyker on Tuesday, Aug. 8.  He was originally charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct. A month after his charges were announced, he resigned from the department.

Foxx released a statement regarding the decision.

“After consultation with the victim and her attorney, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office will not be proceeding with the criminal charges against former CPD Officer Bruce Dyker,” the statement says. “There is a civil matter pending that will be proceeding forward.”

In August 2021, Dyker approached Nikkita Brown as she walked her dog on North Avenue Beach after public hours.

Bodycam footage captured the exchange where Dyker told the young woman to leave the park. In the footage, she seems to ignore his command, focusing on him speaking to her without a mask and possibly infecting her during the highly contagious COVID-19 pandemic.

After several threats for her to yield to his instructions and her refusal, he snatched her wrist and handcuffed her. Before he cuffed Brown, he warned her that he was going to arrest her.

Brown believes the arrest was racially motivated but doesn’t think all officers are bigoted.

“But I don’t think every officer out there is bad. There’s always a bad apple,” Brown said last year. “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.”

Attorney Keenan Saulter, one of Brown’s lawyers, also asserts his client was a victim of racial profiling because white people were also walking at the same time and not stopped.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said they could not substantiate the assertion that Brown “was treated differently from other similarly situated individuals of a nonprotected class.” Though they could not see where any discrimination was used during the arrest, the committee still recommended that Dyker be fired or suspended for using excessive force.

The committee said the former officer “forcibly grabbed Ms. Brown, and a physical altercation ensued.”

The incident with Brown prompted a deeper probe into Dyker’s past with the CPD. Between 1998 and 2021, 25 complaints were filed against him.

Three of those complaints were sustained, with one of them being for allegedly verbally abusing and pointing his weapon at a victim and failing to follow lawful police orders, the Sun-Times reported.

Dyker left the department in May 2021, handing in his badge before COPA findings were delivered to city officials. According to John Catanzara, the head and principal voice of the Chicago Police Union, Dyker left believing he was being unjustly targeted.

Brown’s lawyer said that Dyker should have been off the force.

“Based on his horrible record, Officer Dyker’s badge should have been taken away years ago,” attorney Michael Gallagher said when Dyker resigned.

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