Chicago

Video shows Oak Lawn Police officers repeatedly punching teen as he is pinned to the ground

CHICAGO (CBS) — Disturbing video posted on social media shows three Oak Lawn police officers on high of an adolescent, repeatedly punching him as he’s pinned to the ground.

CBS 2’s Sabrina Franza studies the boy’s household organized a protest Thursday afternoon exterior the Oak Lawn Police division, livid {that a} visitors cease landed their highschool senior in the hospital at the palms of police.

Hadi Abutella’s mom left her 17-year-old son’s bedside Thursday afternoon to name for justice.

“He has fractures all over his face, he’s bruised, he’s in the hospital right now with a neck brace,” Dena Natour mentioned. “Why did the police, over 300 pounds, attack my son that’s only 115 pounds? Why did they do what they did? It’s not called for, it’s not necessary, and not acceptable. I want justice for my son. This is not acceptable.”

Video shared on social media shows Oak Lawn police officers pinning Hadi to the ground, punching him again and again as he lies on the pavement.

A bystander recorded the video along with her mobile phone.

Abutella’s household mentioned he was sitting in the passenger seat of his pal’s automotive Wednesday afternoon after they had been pulled over. They mentioned they do not know what prompted the visitors cease, and don’t know why officers would use this degree of pressure on the teenager. They mentioned he was the just one in the automotive that this occurred to.

Ahmed Rehab, govt director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, mentioned Abutella is a scholar and a barber who has no legal report.

In a short assertion, Oak Lawn Police mentioned, an officer made a visitors cease close to Southwest Highway and Austin Avenue, and an individual in the automotive fled on foot. After a foot chase, officers caught up to the particular person at ninety fifth Street and McVicker Avenue, and “refused to listen to verbal commands which resulted in a physical confrontation with two officers.”

Police mentioned the teen was armed with a semiautomatic handgun throughout the incident, however didn’t specify when officers discovered the gun, or if Abutella ever threatened officers with the weapon.

Rehab mentioned, no matter the purpose for chasing and arresting Abutella, he was on the ground, helpless, and never resisting when officers started punching him, though he posed no menace to them. He mentioned, though Abutella is anticipated to get better from his accidents, it is solely a “stroke of luck” that he did not undergo extra severe accidents.

“The way that he was pounded and punched, this could have resulted in a permanent brain injury that changed the quality of life,” he mentioned. “Regardless of what he was accused of, we have a system in this country. You can subdue the suspect, you can arrest the suspect, handcuff them, proceed to ask them questions. The police department said that there was a gun found. They did not allege that this gun was brandished, that it was threatening them at any point.”

Rehab additionally mentioned the household believes if there was a gun discovered throughout the arrest, it was present in a bag after Abutella was in custody.

Even if Abutella was carrying a gun at the time, a authorized skilled mentioned that is not a justification for officers to use extreme pressure.

“The only time that use of force and use of deadly force is justified is when there is a threat of force being directed at the officers, or actual force. The presence of a gun, by itself, does not indicate a threat with happening,” mentioned David Harris, a professor of regulation at  Pittsburgh University School of Law who makes a speciality of police points.

Police haven’t responded to requests for additional particulars on the incident, which could give extra context into what occurred earlier than a bystander began recording officers beating Abutella, however have scheduled a 5:30 p.m. press convention on the incident.

Abutella’s legal professional, Zaid Abdallah, mentioned the officers who beat him needs to be suspended, pending an investigation into the beating, and in the end needs to be fired.

“This is not policing activity. This is a disgusting act of hate and malice,” he mentioned. “You could see, clearly, minutes pass as the officers have my client subdued; both of them, well over 200 pounds, on top of my client before punches to his head, slamming his head off the pavement. Punches to his body, crushing his bones. This was not a situation where they were trying to subdue a suspect. This was a situation that involved malice and hate from these officers.”

Abdallah additionally disputed Oak Lawn Police Department’s assertion that considered one of the officers concerned had to go to the hospital.

“If he went to the hospital, he went to the hospital to have his knuckles checked from breaking them on my client’s head,” he mentioned.

Rehab demanded Oak Lawn Police launch any physique digital camera or dashboard digital camera footage of the incident.

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