A Black woman is speaking out after a viral video of an apparent racial profiling encounter with a Chicago police officer on Aug. 28 that turned violent.
The video shows the white male cop scuffling with the woman, identified as Nikkita Brown, in what appears to be an unprovoked attack.
In an interview Thursday (Sept. 9) with ABC’s Good Morning America, Brown said she was walking her dog in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood when the officer told her to leave because the park was closed.
Although she was complying with the order, the officer drove behind her as she walked out of the park, according to Brown.
After getting out of his car, the cop said, “You can go to jail,” he’s heard saying on a video that Brown recorded on her cell phone, adding that she would never see her dog again.
Brown told GMA that she also took out her phone to get help.
She wanted to “at least leave a voicemail and say, ‘if you call me in the morning and you don’t reach me, I’m in jail, or worse,'” if no one answered her call.
She asked that the unmasked officer keep his distance because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a 22-second cell phone video captured by Brown, she films the officer walking toward her as she requests, “Please, respect my space. It’s COVID. Six feet. You do not have a mask on.”
Another video shared with Brown’s attorney, Keenan Saulter, was taken by bystanders to the event. The footage shows the officer placing his arms around Brown and seemingly manhandling and tossing her around on the beach while causing Brown’s pet dog to be yanked by its leash.
The audio appears to have recorded a pair of men trying to convince the officer to stop his treatment of Brown with one man yelling, ”Hey, chill out! Let her go! Relax!”
Editor’s Note: The below footage may be disturbing for some readers.
Brown suspects that her race played a role in the violent encounter.
“I walked past four kids that were behind me… white males. As soon as I saw the car pull up, I looked behind me to see if he said anything to the kids. He didn’t,” Brown stated.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a press conference last week that viewing the footage “quite disturbed” her. Lightfoot said, “It looked like the woman was following the direction of the officer and leaving the beach,” and it appeared that Brown, “was seemingly just innocently walking her dog and leaving the park.”
After the encounter, Brown called 911 from her home. A different police officer took a report while she was still “traumatized from this encounter,” according to Saulter. He said, “Ms. Brown is suffering from emotional trauma as a result of this brutal, unprovoked and unlawful attack by this Chicago Police Department Officer.”
Saulter said his client intends to make a “formal complaint” with the city.
Police Superintendent David Brown placed the officer on administrative duties, the department said. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the incident.