Video shows the officers run toward Leroy Kennedy as he is walking. One of the officers slam him against a wall and then takes him down to the ground.
Leroy Kennedy, of Chicago, said he was walking down the street “minding his own business” when two police officers violently arrested him, leaving bruises on his face.
Kennedy, a Black man, is now suing the Chicago Police Department claiming that the officers’ body camera video shows that he was not breaking any laws when he was taken into custody last August.
We are seeking justice for Mr. Kennedy. We are also going to shine a spotlight on the corrosive ‘us against them’ mentality that Chicago police take into many Black and Latino neighborhoods,” his attorney, Christopher Smith, said in a statement.
The body camera footage was released by Smith and does not include audio in the first couple of minutes. The sound begins after Kennedy is arrested.
In the video, officers Ridgner and Abramson run toward Kennedy and stop him as he is walking down the sidewalk. It appears that Kennedy and the officers exchange words and one of the officers, a Black man, slams Kennedy against a brick wall.
The officer is then seen on the video taking Kennedy to the ground as the second officer tries to control a crowd that has gathered.
Kennedy is placed in handcuffs and put in the back of a police car, the video shows. The two officers then drive him a short distance to another location and call an ambulance.
Smith said Saturday that he does not know exactly what his client and the officers said to each other, but the arrest was not warranted.
According to the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, officers Ridgner and Abramson were patrolling the west side of the city around 5:30 p.m. when they arrested Kennedy. The suit says Kennedy was “minding his own business on the sidewalk” and “was not breaking any laws.”
It says Kennedy suffered injuries to his head and wrist and received treatment at the hospital.
After the arrest, the officers “conspired amongst each other about what to do,” the lawsuit states.
“In an illegal effort to justify their frightening attack on Mr. Kennedy, the defendant officers created false reports that claimed Mr. Kennedy committed multiple felony batteries against them,” it says.