Video: Chicago Police Officer Chokes Young Man Mouthing Off At St. Patrick’s Day

The video below is from St. Patrick’s day in my hometown Chicago. A young man, who may be drunk, is mouthing off to a Chicago police officer. The officer then escalates the confrontation by choking the young man and throwing him to the ground.

The scene captures the difficult job that officers have with kids abusing them. However, there is no apparent justification for the escalation that I can see. If the boy threatened the officer, would that be sufficient in your mind to justify the response?

One Internet account says that the boy tells the cop that “He’ll F**k Him Up.” The problem is that the young man is displaying contemptible and even taunting behavior but not threatening behavior. A taunt is not enough. Even in the case of a threat, the officer should first order the suspect to turn around for cuffing or go to the ground. Instead, he grabs the individual by the throat and moves him a distance while squeezing his throat.

Under media guidelines, credentialed media are presumed access to the perimeter of crime scenes — and even crime scenes with approval.

Access to Crime Scenes
Upon approval of a supervisor, news media with Chicago Police Department issued news media credentials or credentials issued by another law enforcement agency will be allowed access to a crime scene’s outer perimeter secured with yellow barrier tape.
NOTE: News media without any of the above-mentioned credentials will be allowed access to a crime scene’s staging area but not within the yellow crime scene barrier tape perimeter. . . .

Media access may be further limited by the following:
a. Media access to a crime scene on private property will only be permitted after the owner or the owner’s agent informs the police that the owner authorizes the media’s presence.

38 thoughts on “Video: Chicago Police Officer Chokes Young Man Mouthing Off At St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. This is one instance where using a tazer would have been an appropriate response from the policeman.

  2. Good points D. Smith. I would also note that immediately prior to applying the choke hold, the officer grins/smirks at the camera. I don’t think he feared for his safety. This neighborhood is less than a block from Wrigley Field. The police deal with crowds of drunks a hundred time a year due to the Cubs. There are types of legal “choke” holds typically from behind with the forearm ( people still get killed by these). I’m also pretty sure grabbing some ones throat with a claw-like grip is illegal. I also think you’re correct in your guess that it was fellow officers filming this (hence the officer’s pre-choke grin). The video has been removed (and likely destroyed?) by the poster.If it was officers filming this (on or off duty), their destruction of the video would be a criminal act if they thought the incident was likely to result in a legal action. Nothing to see here, move along. P.S. That diner in the background, Salt and Pepper, has great food.

    1. thank you for replying seamus. I think a good closing thought would be as I told my trainees, never put yourself into a bad, and unnecessary situation that you can’t back out of. Meaning incidents like this. Even if the arrest and UOF was golden, what a mess that just keeps snowballing out of control. Try to recognize what could happen and not engage in brinkmanship with everybody. All it takes is one step, or “toke” I guess for some folks, over the line and you’re done, And, many folks keep paddling their way toward the waterfall by trying to cover it up.

  3. Just to give another perspective I am a retired deputy sheriff from Washington State. I will give you an objective answer on this as best I can. First, the neck/choke hold in our state is considered deadly force and has been since around the late eighties. Many departments outlaw it by policy. This might not necessarily the case with Chicago or Illinois; I do not know. It is a very effective means if it IS NECESSARY. Second: It is my belief the person filming the incident was another law enforcemnt officer. If you look carefully you will notice there are two plain clothes officers that come from the area of the camera just before it gets physical. I evidence this by the camera operator using a finger to screen out their faces. One of them badges the girl by pulling out his wallet and the other is wearing equipment under this clothing. The officer in the confront looks with a gaze at him like which I can tell you is from one cop to another Here we go, he’s probably going downtown. The officer at first tells the young man to leave the area. The guy declares no and jumps up and down indicating he is going to stay there. Aside from the flipping off, the conduct at this point in short would be Disorderly Conduct. But when the guy told the officer “I’m going to F you up.” That kicked it up to essentially, at least in out state, Intimidating a public Servant which is a felony.” Third. I really don’t think the officer would have done an illegal use of force when his own officers were filming him. Fourth. The filming was probably done to record what was going on. The reason he drug the guy to the area near the garbage can was to get the both of them out of the street and away from allies of the guy. Also, please understand that when faced with a hostile, probably drunk person, especially one that declares he is going to harm the officer, it is best to take them to the ground and cuff them as fast as possible so that they don’t come up with a weapon and someone gets hurt. It’s also a good idea to get the person out of the crowd before others might step in and both officer and arrestee could get hurt. This is why you see the plain clothes officers keeping people away from the scene and probably why you can hear the siren of backup coming. So the question you are probably wondering is do I think this was justified. The arrest? Certainly. The use of Force? In Washington No, In Chicago ????. What would we have done? Taken him to the ground and cuffed him fast but in a different manner. (just due to policy differences.) just my 2 cents for what its worth. d

  4. NO, there should be NO case pursued here since this punk, male or female, deserved exactly what he/she got. That big mouth should be punched! That idiot needs to be taught that you don’t do stupid shit like that to cops and the cop took more than enough before detaining the dumb ass, whether or not he/she was arrested. If that’s a girl, she is most likely pissed off about looking like a man or is militant lesbian and pissed off in general. Either way, that is one dumb assed individual that needs a lesson in life.

  5. Listen,

    My firm would take that case. Unfortunately I don’t think soliciting business on this blog is allowed.

  6. Mr. Turley,

    To provide you with more accurate information so that the magnitude of this situation can be accurately perceived, I will provide you with the below:

    The individual in this video is a FEMALE. Yes, FEMALE.

    Also, she was never booked; after the police used excessive techniques to detain her, they must have realized that they were at fault because she was never arrested but instead was released about 3 blocks away.

    The reason this situation occurred is because about 2 minutes before her friends were involved in an altercation at Sluggers Bar in Wrigleyville and that is why the police were called.

    In your opinion, should a lawsuit be pursued?

  7. “Wonder how Yahoo bullies smell.” -idealist

    I have no idea, but that should have been yahoos / bullies… not yahoo bully 😉


    The phrase “testosterone fueled take-down” sums it up nicely.

  8. There’s no arguing with drunk, but the cop clearly took the path of most resistance. A simple disorderly conduct summons should have sufficed instead of this testosterone fueled take-down.

  9. Wonder how Yahoo bullies smell.
    I know the smell of stress, of funk, of fear. But never got closer than fist distance from a bully, and then it was blood from his nose I got to smell.

  10. This is what the English have been doing to the Irish for hundreds of years.


  11. Woosty,

    :-)… if it weren’t so sad…) I know, I know…, but I keep hoping for the impossible… for the “never gonna happen”… I’ve worked with these yahoo bullies.. and it isn’t a good day for them, if they can’t bully someone…

  12. Anon,
    Glad to see you classifying yourself as being regressive. Agreed.
    But you still haven’t told me what military service you did.
    Since you disparaged mine, think it is only fair you answer that question.

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