Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the 2012 case involving a police detainee who was Tasered and dragged out of his holding cell by officers is not closed.
The Chicago Police Department late Monday released surveillance footage showing police Tasering Philip Coleman at a Far South Side detention facility and then dragging him down a hall as he was handcuffed.
Release of the lockup footage comes amid furor in Chicago over policing practices sparked by the release of dash-cam video in the Laquan McDonald shooting. The city also released video yesterday of the police shooting death of 25-year-old Ronald Johnson.
Coleman, who was detained by police in December 2012 for assaulting his mother during an apparent mental health crisis, was later brought to Roseland Community Hospital, where he died after having an adverse reaction to an antipsychotic drug. Coleman's autopsy revealed that the 38-year-old also had bruises and other physical injuries.
"I do not see how the manner in which Mr. Coleman was physically treated could possibly be acceptable," Emanuel said in a statement Monday. "While the Medical Examiner ruled that Mr. Coleman died accidentally as a result of treatment he received in the hospital, it does not excuse the way he was treated when he was in custody. Something is wrong here -- either the actions of the officers who dragged Mr. Coleman, or the policies of the department."
The city's Independent Police Review Authority had deemed the actions by officers involved in the Coleman case to be justified and closed its investigation.
Emanuel and acting CPD Superintendent John Escalante, however, say the Coleman case is not closed.
"We are held to a higher standard and must strive to live up to it every day. While the independent investigation is ongoing, we will be doing our own review of our policies and practices surrounding the response to mental health crises," Escalante stated.
U.S. Senate candidate Andrea Zopp issued a statement Tuesday in response to the video showing Coleman's treatment while in Chicago police custody:
Every week, we learn more and more about excessive use of force by some Chicago police officers. I continue to be outraged by the videos showing police officers using excessive and deadly force on people of color. We must now add Philip Coleman to a list of names that continues to grow.
It is clear from the video that has been released three years after his death that he was treated callously. The officers actions were appalling and they should all face disciplinary action for what they did.
Although these videos are painful to watch, they are a necessary reality check and a permanent reminder of what can happen when transparency and accountability are not part of the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We must do better. We owe it to Philip Johnson and all men and women who have been the victims of excessive and deadly force.