A Chicago cop who was caught on camera appearing to tackle a black woman who was walking her dog in a closed park has 24 previous allegations of misconduct, the woman’s lawyer has said.
Nikkita Brown complained she was attacked by the cop while walking her small dog in Chicago’s Lincoln Park at around midnight on August 28.
In bodycam footage released this week, Brown and her dog are seen walking away from the officer, before she turns around with her phone in her hand.
The officer then tries to grab the phone, before tackling her – knocking her out of her shoes – and putting her in a body lock.
The officer involved was identified by Brown’s lawyers as Bruce R. Dyker, 51.
Attorney Keenan J. Saulter says Dyker has been the subject of 24 allegations of misconduct during his career, which began in 1998.
The complaints include 11 use of force reports, false arrest, operational/personnel violations, a traffic report, lock procedure violation, domestic violence, and verbal abuse, according to the law firm, citing the Citizens Police Data Project.
Three of the complaints filed against him were sustained and resulted in disciplinary action.
Nikkita Brown was walking her dog shortly after midnight on August 28 in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, according to her attorneys
They say she was on her way out when the officer ‘brutally’ attacked her ‘for no reason’
Multiple videos show the pair engaging in a minute-long physical altercation during which Brown drops her phone and the officer puts her in a body lock
According to records, a complaint with the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) was filed on November 29, 2008 regarding a domestic incident in New Tazewell, TN.
‘It was alleged that the Officer displayed and pointed his weapon at the Victim; failed to follow lawful orders by New Tazewell Police official; verbally abused Victim; and was arrested for three counts of aggravated assault.’
‘During mediation, the Officer agreed to accept IPRAs finding of SUSTAINED for all allegations that the Officer displayed and pointed his weapon at the Victim; failed to follow lawful orders by New Tazewell Police official; verbally abused Victim; arrested for three counts of aggravated assault, and whose overall conduct brought discredit upon the Department.’
Dyker agreed to a 20 day suspension.
More recently, the city of Chicago reportedly settled a lawsuit filed by a Latino resident who claimed they were racially profiled and wrongfully arrested.
Brown’s lawyer Saulter released a statement claiming that an investigation into Dyker found that he had been assigned to traffic patrol ‘due to his history of abusing his office as a police officer.’
Brown’s attorney has demanded that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) reveal the identity of the officer (above)
Data shows that his 24 allegations are more than 88% of other officers on the Chicago Police Department have received and his 11 Use of Force Reports are more than 84% of other officers on the Chicago Police Department.
Brown told ABC News on last month that she thought she was going to be shot by the officer, who threatened to arrest her and to take her pet away.
‘I thought I was going to die,’ she said. ‘I thought he was going to kill me.
‘I had it in my mind that I was going to be shot.’
Brown said that she was told to leave the closed area on the north end of Lincoln Park even though there were other people in the area – and she suspects it was because of her race.
‘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 said.
Dyker, has been placed on administrative desk duty while the August 28 incident is being investigated by Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).
In a two-minute video, Brown and her dog are seen walking away from the officer who is following her closely, gesturing for her to move back.
After Brown turns around with her phone in her hand, the officer tries to grab it, before wrapping his arms around her as she resisted.
The officer nearly tackled Brown as he knocked her out of her shoes and put her in a body lock.
‘Let go!’ she screams as she struggles to break free from the officer.
Bystanders were left troubled by the cop’s behavior.
‘Is he serious?’ a voice asks behind the camera in one video.
In video captured from another angle, two people behind the camera say, ‘Ay, watch the dog. He’s tripping, bro. Like what?’
Brown told Good Morning America last month that she feared the situation would escalate once the officer got out of his car.
‘I know that as soon as he got out the car, I’m thinking to myself, how can I kind of deter the situation? How can I deescalate the situation?’ she said.
Cell phone video shot by Brown and the officer’s bodycam footage shows him getting out of his police cruiser.
Nikkita Brown, The black Chicago woman who was tackled by a white police officer during a physical altercation caught on film while she walked her dog in a closed park last month, says she feared for her life
‘I thought I was going to die,’ she said. ‘I thought he was going to kill me. ‘I had it in my mind that I was going to be shot.’ Brown is seen being nearly wrestled to the ground by the officer during the August 28 incident on the north edge of Lincoln Park
‘Now understand this,’ he begins.
‘Please don’t,’ Brown interrupts. ‘Please respect my space. It’s COVID. Six feet.’
‘Respect your space? I’m about to put handcuffs on you,’ the officer replies.
‘You don’t have a mask on!’ Brown objects.
‘I don’t need a mask! I’m outside!’ the officer retorts.
Brown told GMA: ‘I’m clearly walking away. This man is getting out of this car.
‘He’s saying that he’s going to take me to jail and I’m never going to see my dog again. This is ridiculous.’
The officer then puts Brown in a bodylock and the two struggle as her dog is dragged around on a leash. The dog barks and climbs up the officer’s leg as its owner screams for help.
The struggle goes on for nearly two minutes during which Brown stays up on her feet.
‘I knew if he got me on the floor, I would be dead,’ Brown told ABC News.
Finally, the officer lets go and Brown walks away. No arrests were made.
Brown’s attorneys said she returned home after the incident, called 911 and filed a report with a sergeant, though the attorneys said they haven’t received a copy of that report.
Brown claims she is ‘suffering from emotional trauma as a result of this brutal, unprovoked and unlawful attack by this Chicago Police Department Officer’.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (left) said she was ‘deeply concerned’ by the footage. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown (right) asked for patience as the city’s police oversight agency investigates the matter
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday she was ‘deeply concerned’ by widely circulated video of the incident, and Chicago’s police superintendent asked the public for patience as the incident is investigated.
A spokesperson for COPA said that the agency will investigate and then issue a recommendation as to what disciplinary action – if any – should be taken against the officer.
‘We have a responsibility to investigate allegations of police misconduct and determine if they are well founded based on the facts and evidence of each case,’ interim COPA chief Andrea Kersten said in a statement.
‘If violations did occur, COPA will hold the officer accountable.’
The Chicago Police Department released a statement saying that ‘the officer in question has been placed on desk duty as the COPA investigates the video.’
Saulter has asked that COPA reveal the officer’s identity so that an official complaint can be filed against him.
‘There were other individuals in the park that night. So we still have to come back around to the question of “why her?”‘ Saulter said.
‘The worst scenario would have been that he writes her a ticket for being in the park after 11:00pm.’
Saulter alleged that the officer in question has been involved in previous cases of racial profiling.
Brown told ABC News that the incident has left her emotionally scarred.
‘If anything, I should feel even more protected by a police presence as a single woman walking at night, not be fearful that I’m going to die at the hands of an officer,’ Brown said.