Man slammed by Chicago police officer charged with aggravated battery

A passerby shot video footage of a Chicago police officer slamming a man to the ground during an arrest on the south side of Chicago. The incident is under investigation.

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 9:20 PM
Updated: Dec 2, 2019 9:20 PM

A man who was slammed by a Chicago police officer during a Thanksgiving day arrest was charged Sunday with aggravated battery of a police officer.

The incident, which was captured on a widely circulated video, led to the officer being assigned to desk duty pending a use of force investigation by the Chicago Office of Police Accountability.

The defendant, Bernard Kersh, 29, also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting police, simple assault and drinking alcohol in public, according to a statement from the Chicago Police.

CNN was unable to immediately determine whether Kersh has a lawyer.

In a series of tweets Sunday, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. said he attended Kersh's bond hearing at a Cook County courthouse. Jackson's advocacy organization, the Rainbow Push Coalition, had planned to post a $500 bail for Kersh, Jackson said.

But Kersh remained in custody Monday.

"Unnecessary force could have cracked his skull," Jackson said in a statement released ahead of the hearing. "It raises alarm. No one deserves this kind of treatment."

The incident occurred near a busy intersection on Chicago's South Side on Thursday. According to police, Kersh was stopped for drinking alcohol in public. He became verbally abusive towards the officers and threatened and spat on one of them, police said.

A 43-second video captured by a passenger in a nearby car begins at the onset of the takedown, but doesn't show what led to it.

The video shows the officer wrap his arms around Kersh's torso, lift him up and slam him to the street on his back. Kersh's head appears to hit the concrete. He appeared motionless in the moments after he was slammed onto his back.

Paramedics were "immediately notified," police said, and the man was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

"If wrongdoing is discovered, officers will be held accountable," police said in a statement.

The names of the officers involved have not been released.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Kersh had been released on bail. He was still in custody Monday afternoon.

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