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Police-Brutality Suit Hinges On Video Showing Cop Striking Man At Block Party

(CBS) – City officials and some Chicago residents are asking questions about video that shows a police officer striking a man at a block party.

In the video, police arrive on the scene of a block party at 15th and South Christiana. An officer approaches Jeremiah Smith, yells at him and hits him so hard with his police baton Smith's white hat flies off his head.

Smith attorney Rahsaan Gordon disagrees that his client threatened the officer.

"He never uttered a word to him," Gordon says.

In the video, a woman holding a baby, screams and then covers her mouth after seeing Smith, stumble to the ground.

"This is a perfect glimpse into how even a small child can see some of this brutal violence that is being issued by these people who are sent into our communities to serve and to protect," Gordon says.

Both Smith and Lisa Simmons have filed a lawsuit against the city and the police. Simmons is a woman seen getting arrested in the video.

Gordon says police fabricated information in a police report saying Simmons was drinking and that Smith attempted to hit the officer.

"Anyone with any level of decent vision, can see that's simply not true in the video," the attorney says.

Charges against Simmons were dropped. Smith plead guilty to misdemeanor battery, under a plea deal.

In response to this story, the Chicago Police Department says they take allegations of excessive force very seriously and any action undermining the integrity of the department will not be tolerated. Police are cooperating fully with the investigation being done by the Independent Police Review Authority.



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