This week, a new video of police brutality in Chicago surfaced. The video intensified scrutiny of how Chicago handles excessive police violence. Some believe Chicago is more corrupt that Ferguson municipality.
Philip Coleman, 38 died under the hands of those supposed to help him become a better person, his family believes. A video released last Monday serves as the main evidence.
In the video, officers in Chicago jail was caught using a taser against Philip and then dragging his already limp body out of his cell and down the hallway. Coleman died later under police custody.
The victim's father, Percy divulged that it was Coleman's mother who called the police to take him away in Dec 2012. Coleman was said to be suffering from a mental health crisis when he paid a visit to his parents. Allegedly, Coleman went to his parents' home on Chicago's Far South Side to ask for some advice because of the financial troubles that he was experiencing. Percy shared that this son even prayed together with his mom for hours before he "suddenly snapped" and attacked his mother. His mother did not have another choice but to call the police. Coleman's mother, Lena, refused to comment. "She's still shook up about it all," Percy said.
What transpired in the city jail was both harrowing and disappointing to Coleman's family. Percy explained that when officers arrived to take Coleman to a jail in the city's Calumet District, he did not expect that his son would die. "I was expecting the police to treat him, not kill him," said Percy, himself previously a Chicago Housing Authority police chief.
The video showed that contrary to what the police officers were flaming, Coleman was not combative. The video demonstrated how Coleman was just alone on his bed in the jail cell when six officers entered and talked to him. When Coleman tried to stand, he was shocked with a Taser and then subdued by officers. When he became limp, the officers took him out of his cell. He was taken to the hospital but was again, tased by the officers, who claimed Coleman was threatening them. That night, Coleman took his last breath.
Differing accounts of what caused his death followed. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "The Cook County medical examiner's office determined he died accidentally after the hospital gave him a sedative." However, on the Tribune, it was noted that, "An autopsy showed that Coleman had experienced severe trauma, including more than 50 bruises and scrapes on his body from the top of his head to his lower legs."
The grieving father claimed the family would be suing. "I'm a former law enforcement official, and I know what happened to my son is wrong," he told The Intercept. "I will get justice. The gangs here on the South Side are no different from the police. They both think they can kill anybody anytime."
The video sparked outrage among activists, who are already vocal against the city's handling of police brutality since November when a footage revealed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by police officer Jason van Dyke. "If people thought the Ferguson municipality was corrupt, wait until they see Chicago," criticized Jasson Perez, who is the national co-chair of the Chicago-based Black Youth Project.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Coleman's case is now being investigated.