Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she is “deeply concerned” after watching a video about a white city police officer’s encounter with a Black woman shared to social media, the Associated Press reported.
Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability is now investigating the incident, captured in a two-minute video by a bystander. The video shows Nikkita Brown walking her dog in a lakefront park as an officer approaches her shortly after midnight, apparently for being in the park after it closed, according to a law office representing Brown. The office said in a statement that the officer “violently” attacked Brown “for absolutely no reason.”
The video then shows Brown walking away from the cop, who follows her and then appears to try to take her phone. The officer then appears to grab Brown as she yells, “Let go!” and struggles to get away from him.
“He attempts to tackle her, all while groping her body as she screams for help,” the statement from Brown’s attorneys said. “This unprovoked attack lasts for approximately two minutes, during this time Ms. Brown’s phone is knocked from her hands and she is knocked out of her shoes.”
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Brown’s attorneys allege the encounter became violent and was “an obvious case of racial profiling.”
Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability opened its investigation Sunday.
A law office representing Nikkita Brown said in a statement that she was near the lakefront with her dog about 12:10 a.m. Saturday when a Chicago police officer approached her for being in the area after the park was closed.
When Brown is finally free, she can be seen on video picking up her phone off the ground before walking away with her dog. Brown’s attorneys said she returned home, called 911 and filed a report with a sergeant, though the attorneys said she hasn’t received a copy of that report.
They allege the encounter was racially motivated, noting there were several other individuals in the park that night, including a group of about four white people walking some distance behind Brown.
“This was an obvious case of racial profiling,” the attorneys said in their statement, which said that Brown is suffering “emotional trauma” from the “brutal, unprovoked and unlawful attack.”
The Chicago Police Department said it was aware of the video and referred the matter to COPA, which opened an investigation shortly after being notified of the incident.
Ephraim Eaddy, a spokesperson for the COPA, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the agency has been in contact with Brown’s attorney.
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