A 6-foot-6 235 pound Chicago police veteran has been arrested and charged with official misconduct after the release of video footage that shows him beating a handcuffed man, who had been involuntarily admitted to a local hospital to undergo a mental health evaluation, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The June 2014 incident occurred after the patient reportedly assaulted Chicago Police Officer Clauzell Gause. Later, the 40-year-old officer was captured on video at Jackson Park Hospital attacking the patient, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, notes the news outlet.
The Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates allegations of misconduct by Chicago Police, made the video public late Tuesday after inquiries from the Tribune:
The charge against Gause comes nearly two years after the June 2014 incident in spite of the video evidence. Daly said investigators for IPRA had trouble finding the alleged victim, now 24.
The felony charge comes amid a changed landscape for the Police Department and the state’s attorney’s office since the court-ordered release last November of the disturbing video of black teenager Laquan McDonald’s fatal shooting by a white Chicago police officer. Weeks of protest resulted, the Justice Department launched an exhaustive investigation of the Police Department, Alvarez suffered a stinging re-election defeat in large part over her handling of the McDonald case and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, under intense criticism for months, announced a proposal last week to abolish the city’s beleaguered Independent Police Review Authority.
Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman for the Police Department, said Gause was relieved of his police powers and placed on paid desk duty in the same month as the incident. It was unclear if more serious disciplinary action will be taken against him because of the felony charge.
William Fahy, Gause’s attorney, “told the judge the officer had worked most of his nearly 12-year career in the Calumet District on the city’s South Side and had no disciplinary record,” writes the Tribune.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube