CHICAGO – Newly released dashcam video shows a Chicago police officer slamming an unarmed robbery suspect to the ground after she got out of a car with her hands up.
The video was released Friday by the Chicago Police Department, whose new chief is trying to increase openness and rebuild trust after several cases of excessive force, particular against African Americans.
Two of the officers involved in the woman's 2011 arrest have been stripped of their police powers pending a new review.
The city's Police Department has been under intense scrutiny over excessive force cases and is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. The department has promised to implement some reforms recommended by a task force set up by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The new police chief appointed to help turn the department around, Superintendent Eddie Johnson, has begun reviewing past use-of-force investigations, including the one involving the 2011 arrest caught on a patrol car dashboard camera.
"After reviewing video footage from the investigation, the superintendent found that the officers' actions in apprehending one of the offenders — who is now serving time in jail — concerning," said a police statement accompanying the release of the video and police reports.
Tiffani Jacobs, 34, was driving a getaway car after her boyfriend robbed a McDonald's at gunpoint. During a chase, she sped toward an officer who was on foot. That officer opened fire, hitting her twice in the chest. She continued to flee until other officers caught up with the car.
The video shows Jacobs getting out of her car with her hands up. An officer approaches with his gun drawn and, using his free hand, grips her by the collar and slams her to the ground on her stomach.
Officers then shocked her several times with stun guns because, they said, she ignored their commands to show her hands, which were pinned under her body. Jacobs told investigators the officers also used a Taser on her after she was handcuffed.
She was hospitalized and treated for two gunshot wounds to the chest.
The investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority found the officer who opened fire was justified in doing so because his life was in danger.
The officers taken off duty during a new review were the one who slammed her to the ground and one of the officers who discharged his Taser.
Jacobs was convicted of armed robbery and is serving a 12-year prison sentence.