Landmark Skybox

Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
The Weather Network
Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




KMRM

home : news : state news free January 17, 2020

12/2/2019 10:36:00 AM
Man body-slammed by Chicago officer charged with battery
Michael Tarm
Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Bail was set at $5,000 Sunday for a 29-year-old man facing battery and other charges after a Chicago police officer body-slammed him onto a street during his arrest.

The charges against Bernard Kersh, including aggravated battery of an officer, stem from him spitting at and threatening the officer on Thanksgiving afternoon after police approached him at a South Side bus stop on suspicion of drinking alcohol in public, prosecutors said during a hearing Sunday.

A 41-second video posted by a bystander and widely shared online starts with the officer lifting Kersh high off his feet, then slamming his body hard onto the pavement. The back of Kersh’s head appears to strike the curb and he then lies motionless.

Kersh’s lawyers and civil rights activists said the incident illustrates how Chicago police can be overly aggressive, especially in predominantly black neighborhoods.

Prosecutor James Murphy said Kersh had earlier licked the 32-year-old officer’s face, threatened him, then spit in his eye. Murphy said “a substantial amount of spit” got in the officer’s eye and some into his mouth.

Even if that were true, one of Kersh’s lawyers, Andrew M. Stroth, said in a phone interview Sunday that the force the officer deployed was excessive and violated the department’s own use-of-force rules.

“He used a martial arts takedown that could have killed Bernard Kersh,“ Stroth said. “He is lucky to be alive.“

Stroth added that Kersh was clearly not armed and the officer had to know he posed no serious threat.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition plan to pay 10% of the bail amount, $500, to secure Kersh’s release, Stroth said. Jackson was at Sunday’s hearing.

Kersh was hospitalized Thursday but was discharged hours later and jailed, his attorney said. Stroth said the family would take Kersh to a doctor for a full examination once he’s released. The officer also went to a hospital for evaluation.

In addition to the aggravated battery count, Kersh also faces charges of resisting arrest, assault and drinking alcohol in public.

Stroth said Kersh has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and, in a condition he had before Thursday, was blind in one eye.

Kersh has been charged at least 25 times previously, mostly for theft, but once for punching an officer and once for spitting at an officer.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the officer’s response and, as is standard procedure, he has been stripped of his police powers as the case is reviewed. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement last week that the investigation “will be comprehensive and expedited.”

Kevin Graham, the Chicago police union’s president, defended the officer in a statement Sunday, saying “his actions were well within department use of force guidelines.”





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   









Trinity Dodge Fixed
Dr Paul The Dentist
NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact UsLife
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2020 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved