VIDEO: Chicago Officer Suspended For Takedown Of Suspect Who Spit In His Eye

Bernard Kersh allegedly licked the officer twice, then spit in his eye, prosecutors said.

Chicago, IL – A Chicago police officer used a takedown to arrest a suspect who spit in his eye and licked his face, and he has now been relieved of police powers pending an investigation into his use of force (video below).

Attorney Andrew Stroth alleged that the officer could have killed his schizophrenic client by using the brutal “martial arts” takedown maneuver, The Washington Post reported.

“You have an unarmed person who, from our perspective, presents no threat to the officer, and what [the suspect] said is that all of a sudden that officer did that takedown move and bashed his head against the cement,” Stroth told The Washington Post. “The video speaks for itself. He could have easily been killed.”

The incident occurred in the 800-block of East 79th Street just before 4 p.m. on Nov. 28, WFLD reported.

Bernard Kersh, 29, was allegedly consuming vodka at a bus stop when Chicago police approached him with the intent of issuing him a citation for drinking alcohol in public, Cook County prosecutor James Murphy told The Washington Post.

According to police, Kersh “became combative as soon as the officers started talking to him,” Murphy said.

The suspect allegedly threatened them, then licked an officer’s face twice and spit in the officer’s eye.

“There was a substantial amount of spit, in liquid form, that landed in the eye of [the officer],” Murphy explained, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Some of the suspect’s spit also dripped into the officer’s mouth, he added.

The attack and subsequent takedown were captured by a store security camera, according to the prosecutor.

Jovanna Alexiss Jamison began recording the scene just as an officer was taking the suspect to the ground, WFLD reported.

The video showed the officer as he grabbed onto Kersh from behind and slammed him onto the cement.

Kersh was motionless after the maneuver, and was subsequently transported to a local hospital for an evaluation.

“[He] didn’t do anything aggressive – he just stood there,” Jamison said of Kersh, according to WFLD. “He was standing there using his cell phone. They took away his bottle of liquor and threw it.”

The 32-year-old officer who Kersh allegedly licked and spat on was also transported to the hospital for an evaluation.

When Kersh arrived at the University of Chicago hospital, he was so disruptive that he had to be sedated in order to be treated, Murphy told the Chicago Tribune.

After he was evaluated and released, Kersh was arrested for aggravated battery to a police officer, drinking alcohol in public, simple assault, and resisting police, WGCL reported.

According to prosecutors, Kersh suffered “a small scratch the size of a fingernail” on his eyebrow during the emergency takedown, according to the Chicago Tribune.

But his attorney alleged that his client could may have actually suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Judge Arthur Willis said it was clear that Kersh was “going through a mental health issue” at the time of the confrontation, but also noted that “spitting in someone’s face such that it dribbles into their eye and mouth” is a “form of violence,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

He ordered that Kersh be held on $5,000 bail. Kersh was later sprung from jail by Reverend Jesse Jackson, WGCL reported.

"Unnecessary force could have cracked his skull," Jackson said of Kersh’s arrest. "It raises alarm. No one deserves this kind of treatment."

Jackson also attended Kersh’s initial court hearing on Sunday, the Washington Post reported.

“Police had no basis for throwing him down in a way that could have killed him. We’ve seen this before, and it must stop,” Jackson said. “I hope that the mayor and those involved will move immediately to deal with this police officer and those who stayed silent and did nothing.”

Civil rights activists were quick to accuse Chicago police of staging a coverup of what they deemed to be a racially-motivated attack.

“This was, for all practical purposes, attempted murder,” Tree of Life Justice League activist Eric Russell told the Chicago Tribune. “We are of the opinion that these bogus criminal cover charges are just that — bogus criminal cover charges to cover up a police crime.”

Russell further alleged that the incident was an example of the “continual pattern of brutality being inflicted upon the black community.”

Kersh’s mother, Keshia Johnson, said that she was on the phone with Kersh when the altercation occurred, The Washington Post reported.

She said that Kersh had left to go buy alcohol for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner, but that he disappeared and she was worried he might be dead.

“We were waiting to eat Thanksgiving dinner for him, because he always blesses the table,” Johnson said, according to The Washington Post.

She later watched the cell phone video that showed her son being taken to the ground.

“To see them just slam him to the concrete like that, it was hard to watch,” Johnson said. “I can’t say [if he spit] or not, but if he did, I still don’t think he deserves to be slammed on his head. He could have killed my son. He could have broke his neck. He could have not woken up.”

“I mean, how about handcuff a person?” she suggested, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the incident “very disturbing,” in a tweet on Friday.

According to prosecutors, Kersh was convicted of punching an officer in 2011, the Chicago Tribune reported.

He was also convicted of spitting on an officer in 2018.

Court records showed that Kersh has failed to appear for court on at least 15 occasions in the past, WLS reported.

The officer who took Kersh to the ground was relieved of his police powers pending the outcome of a Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigation, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Martin Preib slammed the department for suspending the officer, and said the maneuver he used to stop Kersh’s attack was “perfectly within the guidelines of use of force,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

“It’s right there in the law,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “You can’t spit on police. You can’t lick ‘em, either.”

“It’s sending another message to all the police officers that they will not back you up, that they will not support you, that they will not allow you to go out and protect the public," Preib said of the officer’s suspension, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He noted that Kersh’s alleged mental health struggles do not excuse him with regards to the attack on the officer.

“If he needs mental health services, he can get that in custody," Preib told the Chicago Tribune. “What’s he going to go out and do now when he’s out on the street? Every year is he going to spit on a cop, and is it going to escalate and get worse and worse?”

Chicago Police Department (CPD) spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said that the department supports the charges that were filed against Kersh as a result of the altercation, but said that they are also looking into the officer’s actions.

“While the department stands by the criminal charges against the defendant, Internal Affairs and the independent Office of Police Accountability are scrutinizing the actions prior to that emergency take down very closely,” Guglielmi told The Washington Post. “If any wrongdoing or policy violations are discovered, officers will be held accountable.”

You can watch cell phone footage of the officer’s encounter with Kersh in the video below:

Comments (75)
No. 1-50
LitheSteel
LitheSteel

Hahaha, fk'm

Fire0462
Fire0462

Looks ok to me. Show respect for your betters and live longer and healthier.

gfc1963
gfc1963

Don't spit at an officer and you won't get a smackdown. But of vcurse this is Chicago so the cop is automatyically wrong! And fuck Jesse Jackson!

1 Reply

flybynight
flybynight

As well as all the other racial grievance types.

fishing
fishing

No one deserves to have someone spit in your face. Too freakin' bad for the drunk guy.

Ever watching
Ever watching

I'm good with it!

Nighthawk644
Nighthawk644

Spitting on an officer and licking an officer are both examples of "aggravated battery to a police officer".....you dont want to get taken down? Dont resist and dont commit crimes against the police. This apparently is getting harder and harder for the public to understand......and of course race baiters like Jesse Jackson don nothing to improve the situation.....throwing gas on a fire.

chessie58
chessie58

Fell on his head. He's ok.

Jakepierce26
Jakepierce26

Are you kidding?? Perfectly legit

Littlekittykat
Littlekittykat

Imagine the diseases you could get from that feral things spittle. So sick of blacks behaving like feral beasts then complaining when they are treated as such. In the city where I live its 6 to 8 news reports per day of blacks robbing carjacking and killing..and that's just the ones you hear about. But noooooo you can't acknowledge the elephant in the room....if you do that you're a racist.

floridacop
floridacop

Reading the article the attorney called this a martial arts takedown. Can someone please explain to me where in the video did that occur? I saw a body to body slam (wwe move).

whatalways3parts
whatalways3parts

Again n again I (we) hear just one side of the story.

Investigate the other side of story " the family " doing the accusing, damn it !!

Are they really of "Sound Mind" ?? Blame, blame, blame from you, Shame on you!!

He has history of Spitting on cops!!

Schick56
Schick56

Omfg!!!! If it would have been a black cop, Jessie Jackson (race baiter) would have watched it and said...dumb niggas....Soooo it's ok to spit in a cops eye? I'm so sick of this shit. That spit is battery on a police officer, therefore the takedown. At least the cop stopped, I would have kicked him a dozen times if he spit in my eye!

Snodog
Snodog

It saddens me to say this but, maybe it's time for the police in Chicago to go on strike for a month as a protest. Let the liberals live without police protection nor weapons to protect themselves. I'm sure the criminals would stop committing crimes.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Can't you just smell the ghetto lottery churning in his momma's head?? POS drunk thug is drinking vodka at a bus stop. Has an extensive criminal history if he's failed to show up for court over 15 times. And he has a history of assaulting the police. But his momma wants us to believe he always "blesses" the table. Yeah right you sorry ass hoodrat!! The police should sue you for the piece of shit you raised and all the money it costs the tax payers dealing with your thug son!! No f••king accountability!!

InnyMiniMightyMo
InnyMiniMightyMo

Not another dindu

6101
6101

Gravity is not just a good idea...it's the LAW...oh...and fuck this guy

Jimmyd2
Jimmyd2

How much force was necessary to effect an arrest. That is the standard. Anything more is excessive. The video does not look good for the officer. That's what this is about, no more no less. What the suspect did to the officer was inexcusable and he will be held accountable for his conduct. So will the officer.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

So sick of these videos that only show the takedown, and not the prior events that transpired.

It's what they do now, and the media is complicit in the anti-LEO agenda.

Videographer goes by the alias "BossMoneyyDuhh" on facebook. Her most recent post is that she "Starts working tomorrow."

lolamae
lolamae

I would have punched him out. How gross to have someone spit in your eye and lick you, I could not handle that crude event. Fuck Jesse Jackson such a rich ass with a big say nothing mouth.

tkshields
tkshields

maybe time for blue flue in NY and Chicago

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

Here we go again somebody videoing an officer doing his job and they don’t know everything that was going on. If one was to spit on me he would have got the same thing!! These idiots videoing and not knowing what all went on.

bryantrent
bryantrent

Crazy

TexasStrong
TexasStrong

So he "might" have a traumatic brain injury? He pickled his brain a long time ago. So, it's already mush. His momma shouldn't have sent him to the store for alcohol knowing his history.

DarrellWhitledge
DarrellWhitledge

This POS and his POS attorney will get a payday that’s all either of the pieces of garbage want. Sad

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

The defense lawyer and the hood is really over exaggerating and blowing this way out of proportion. If he’d of spit on the face of another brother, he’d be nothing but a statistic in the morgue.

RPG156
RPG156

That is an unacceptable visceral reaction. It could have easily resulted in the death of the suspect. I understand it, but I'm not going to justify it.

Azleowife
Azleowife

Ok so the officer is being investigated for "what could have happened?". Reading these messed up articles make me understand why my LEO husband is always wondering why he is still even in law enforcement. I hope the officer is ok. To the perp, grow a pair and own up to your actions and accept your consequences stop using the race card as a "get out jail free" card.

colonelorville
colonelorville

I often wonder why we continue to become Police Officers. I'm glad to be long retired. But I have family, friends, and have met many other people who will do their best, in spite of the never ending pressure.

J10107
J10107

The transmission of bodily fluids into the officer's eye and mouth by that POS open the officer up to a whole host of destructive diseases that could cause serious illness and death.

But all those liberal assholes think we deal with immaculately clean virgins instead of the dipped in stinking shit, dirty, needle sharing drug users who have hepatitis, AIDS and every other communicable disease under the sun.

Those liberal assholes are afraid to get near these POS because of their smell, let alone have to touch one of them.

But it's fine for the Police to be spit upon and then have to wonder whether if he or she is passing on a horrible disease to their children and family because the courts won't have the offender tested or medical records released to inform the officer of any possible communicable diseases the POS has.

I bet that POS won't be spitting on any police officers anymore !!!

NomonK
NomonK

Oh that poor scumbag got a smackdown.
Of course every RACE CARD PLAYER THAT IS A NOBODY has to come to his aid. I'm not going to mention their names because they use stories like this to raise money for the Charities that pay their salaries and expenses. They use these stories like the poor dogs in the ASCPA does. The major difference is the dog stories are true.

HonorYourHeroes
HonorYourHeroes

Licking and spitting at the Officer is Assault, I don't get why the Officer is suspended.

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Why be a cop anymore? No support from liberal bosses, blacks can do anything and get by with it, hell just let em have chicago n let lightfoot police on her own..she fired eddie for lying when entire gang there r corrupt..think smollett cover up

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Eeewww..look what police did to that BOY..what boy? That was a grown man.ok..

Soulman1437
Soulman1437

Approach determines response.

Clay W
Clay W

He got off easy. I think the officer showed amazing restraint. Spirit in my eye and let's see how that works out for you. That gentle little flip on the head would just be lesson 1.

alaskalawdog
alaskalawdog

Jesse Jackson is still alive..? Can’t he just die already? What a waste of oxygen...

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

How do you politely take someone down who just spit in your eye. Of greater importance is how the fuck does this blood sucking piece of scum get close enough to lick your face and still be allowed to inhale oxygen?

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

WTF!

skidrowvet
skidrowvet

Going to be interesting how ( new chicago chief) Beck responds- well I'll tell you- whatever his boss tells him his opinion should be- what a champion of the street cop he is- he never stood up for us when it counted

BLUEALWAYS
BLUEALWAYS

The officer WASN'T suspended. He' getting paid working inside until the investigation is over.

CRETE GARY
CRETE GARY

Bet they throw the officer under the bus.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

Rough take down. But it looked like the LE just reacted like anyone would!

Garywsr1157
Garywsr1157

Ok guys normally I would take the victim side in a case like this. And I will both of the victims. First the guy has no business spitting on or licking a cop, I'm afraid if I was the cop that got spit on I would definitely have to take him down but not quite the way this guy did. This guy kind of slam him. I would have never done it the way this guy did it

BindareDundat
BindareDundat

Spitting in someone's eye these days is attempted murder because of AIDS and unlike the general public, cops know this and the cop acted accordingly.

Patriot63
Patriot63

Typical of people not knowing what's going on like this one and sending out a recording "look what he just did to the child and he didn't do anything". The truth being that "child" spit in the Officer's eye and got exactly what he deserved. Our society know with the cancer of political correctness where people think that what ever they think or due even against the law that it's ok because society says that going against them is infringing against there rights. That's why respect is becoming a value of the past generations. If you look back during the unknowing time of how aids was contracted spitting in one's eye was a very serious crime and is supposed to still because aids is spread by body fluid transfer. Know that Officer has to go through an aids screening process in the hopes that he did not get aids which takes a couple of weeks to get the results. Till then anyone going through that same process would fear the worst.

DNW
DNW

Bodily fluids = biological weapon.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Seems to me this officer is getting shafted.☹👎

Raymelson
Raymelson

Need to dispose of people like Jackson he's a racist baiting S,O,B AN IF THAT PUNK SPIT IN MY FACE HE WOULD BE A A DEAD MAN

Colombiano
Colombiano

Why this officer didn't slam him gently???

Blkojo
Blkojo

With the suspect's two previous assaults on police officers why is he free in the first place? Third time's the charm. Put him away for a decade.