A Chicago cop ordered a woman to get off a closed beach as she demanded for him to “respect her space” during a heated confrontation as she walked her dog last month, new video shows.
The footage, released Thursday by attorneys for Nikkita Brown, shows the black woman being approached by a white Chicago cop after midnight on Aug. 28 at North Avenue Beach, which had closed for the evening.
“Please respect my space,” Brown told the unmasked officer, according to the clip from his body-worn camera. “Six feet – you do not have a mask on!”
The officer – who has since been put on paid desk duty – told Brown he was preparing to slap handcuffs on her while saying he didn’t need to wear a mask since he was outside.
“The exit is that way,” the cop told Brown. “You need to exit … Ma’am, get out of the park! What do you not understand about that? The park is closed! You are trespassing on city property and you will go to jail if you don’t take your dog and leave.”
Brown told the officer to “back up” and accused him of spitting on her, which he denied while telling her to “keep walking” off the beach and straight toward the exit. She then stopped and started looking at her phone as the cop warned her again that she was about to be handcuffed while walking her small dog, the clip shows.
“Do you want to test me on this?” the officer tells Brown before grabbing her arm, setting off a confrontation in which she repeatedly yelled for him to let go of her.
“I’m leaving, get off of me!” Brown shrieks as the pair struggled. “Let go, let go!”
“You don’t understand your situation, do you?” the officer tells Brown on the clip. “When I tell you to exit, you don’t wait until the police are about to arrest you and then decide to comply. Do you not understand that?”
The pair are then heard struggling as Brown asks the cop for his name and badge number, which he provided, the footage shows.
“You want to go to jail?” the officer asks Brown. “Stay in the park after hours.”
Brown, who was not arrested, told ABC News earlier this month she thought she was going to die during the encounter that was also captured on cellphone video by a witness. That clip showed the cop trying to tackle her at one point as her dog hopped at his feet.
“I thought he was going to kill me,” Brown said. “I had it my mind that I was going to be shot.”
Brown claimed she was racially profiled by the officer, who allegedly chose to focus on her despite other people being at the closed beach at the time. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown put the cop on administrative duty days afterward, but said the closure of the beach hours earlier led to the altercation.
An investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which probes allegations of misconduct by cops, is ongoing, the agency said last month. COPA officials recommended the cop be relieved of his police powers or put on administrative duties pending the outcome.
An attorney for the officer, identified by Brown’s attorneys as Bruce Dyker, could not be reached for comment, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday. The newspaper did not identify Dyker because he hasn’t been accused of disciplinary infractions in the incident.
The veteran cop, who started with Chicago police in 1998, has more than 20 allegations of misconduct, including three that have been sustained, Brown’s attorneys told the Tribune.
Records from a police accountability advocacy group, the Invisible Institute, cited by the Tribune show the sustained complaints against the officer include one from November 2008 that led to a 20-day suspension.
Dyker was off-duty during the “domestic incident” in New Tazewell, Tennessee, where he allegedly verbally abused and pointed his weapon at a victim and failed to follow orders from local cops, the Tribune reported.
The officer was arrested for aggravated assault, but no information on the outcome of the charges were available, according to the report. He then agreed to accept the now-defunct Independent Police Review Authority’s ruling on the accusations and accepted a 20-day suspension, records show. Law enforcement sources told the Tribune the officer seen on the clip with Brown had been assigned to a traffic unit at the time.