KEY POINTS

  • Bodycam footage shows Kennedy being slammed on to a brick wall and pavement 
  • Charges against him were dropped last December 
  • Kennedy, who spent four days in jail, was left traumatized by the incident 

A body camera footage has emerged as a crucial piece of evidence in a lawsuit filed by a black man against the Chicago Police, in connection with his arrest last August. 

In the civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Leroy Kennedy said he was walking on a sidewalk "minding his own business" on Aug. 23, 2020, and "was not breaking any laws" when officers Ridgner and Abramson arrested him, reported NBC News.

The footage released by Kennedy's attorney, Christopher Smith, shows the officers running toward Kennedy and stopping him as he walks down the sidewalk. 

The footage, which has no audio for the first few minutes, shows an exchange between Kennedy and the policemen, and one of the officers slamming him against a brick wall. The officer, a black man, is then seen taking Kennedy to the pavement as the second officer tries to control people who gathered around.

Kennedy is then seen with large bruises on his forehead. He is then put into the back of a police car and driven away to another location before an ambulance was called.

The arrest report, which features as part of the lawsuit and provided by Kennedy's attorneys to CNN, says he "adjusted his hands and manipulated his front lap area," leading them to believe Kennedy was concealing a gun.

It says Kennedy looked "directly in the officers' direction and stiffened his body and his eyes enlarged."

As per the police records, Kennedy was arrested on two charges of resisting arrest and one charge of aggravated battery on a police officer. However, the arrest report does not mention any weapons being found by Kennedy. 

Though his case was later dismissed on Dec. 18, 2020, Kennedy, who spent four days in jail, said he was left traumatized by the incident. 

"It left me feeling traumatized. Man, I ain't gonna lie. You get nervous. You get even more nervous once you see the police," Kennedy told ABC News. "I told him like 'Sir, I'm not resisting. I just want to get my glasses,'" Kennedy said. "He slammed me again thinking I'm resisting."

In a statement, Christopher Smith said: "We are seeking justice for Mr. Kennedy. We are also going to shine a spotlight on the corrosive ‘us against them’ mentality that Chicago police take into many Black and Latino neighborhoods." 

"The police couldn't even pretend he did anything," said Smith. "So you have a police report which gives no description of a crime and no reason for approaching him, other than his bulging eyes."  

arrest Representational image Photo: Pixabay