Chicago, IL – The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) has opened an investigation into a Chicago police officer’s use of force during the arrest of a combative teenage robbery suspect (video below).
The incident occurred at approximately 6:50 p.m. on Nov. 25, as officers were attempting to detain 16-year-old Skyler Miller, who matched the description of a suspect accused of robbing citizens at the train station, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
“We had a crew of young individuals going around on the Red Line robbing people, and he was identified as a possible suspect with that particular group,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a press conference. “So that’s why they were approaching him.”
Cell phone footage showed the officers as they fought with the combative teen for several minutes, but did not capture what led up to the altercation.
“Get the f--k off me!” Miller repeatedly yelled at the officers, often within inches of their faces. “What you all grabbin’ me for?”
The two officers at the scene told Miller to relax, and cautioned him about clenching his fists.
“Don’t do that man. Not worth it,” one officer told Miller as he continued to pull away from them.
“Let me go, my dear brother,” Miller replied. “F--k you…I didn’t do s--t to you.”
The teen vigorously shook his head and refused to allow the officers to place him in handcuffs.
“No. I’m not going like that,” he insisted.
The nearby crowd alternated between urging Miller to cooperate and heckling the officers, the video showed.
A second video clip showed multiple officers actively fighting with the teen.
During the altercation, one officer delivered several strikes to the back of Miller’s head as he held a pair of handcuffs in his hand.
Police then took Miller to the ground, where he was subdued and placed into handcuffs. Additional officers raced to the scene and helped to hold the angry mob at bay.
By the time police finished fighting with Miller, the robbery victims had left the area, Superintendent Johnson said, according to WBBM.
“He wasn’t charged that night, because by the time the dust settled on that particular robbery, the victim had wandered off,” he explained. “We still haven’t located that victim yet.”
As a result, Miller was released without being charged.
“This was an incident where an individual was resisting arrest,” Chicago Police Department spokesperson Michael Carroll told WBBM.
“A use of force investigation has been opened into the officers’ actions by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) to establish if policies were violated, and CPD will fully cooperate with COPAs investigation,” Carroll said.
Miller said he plans to file a lawsuit against the department, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
"They just grabbing me," Miller complained to WFLD. "They get to beating me. I don't know why they trying to slam me."
“If it’s determined that he used use of force incorrectly, then we’ll deal with it,” Superintendent Johnson said, according to WBBM. “If there’s something that we can do better, or if an officer needs to be held accountable, then that will occur.”
You can watch cell phone footage of the officers’ altercation with Miller in the videos below: