Chicago Cops Sued for Assaulting Woman in Custody

[Content Note: Violence; police brutality; racism; anti-immigrant rhetoric; white supremacy.]

Jianqing "Jessica" Klyzek has filed a suit in federal court after Chicago police officers physically assaulted her, shouted racist shit at her, and threatened violence against her while she was handcuffed on the floor of her place of employment, which they were raiding.

There is video and a partial transcript of the incident at the link, which may be difficult to watch/read.

Klyzek, who is a naturalized US citizen who emigrated from China, endured this abuse while restrained on her knees after plainclothes officers burst into the salon and began shouting at her. They were followed by uniformed officers, but it is evident from the video that it wasn't immediately clear to staff why the men were there or who they were.

Following the incident, police tried to retroactively justify their abusive actions by claiming that Klyzek attacked them:
Initially accused of an aggravated battery of the officers, as well as ordinance violations, a bruised Klyzek was quickly cleared by Cook County Judge Paul Pavlus, who found no probable cause for her arrest.

Police then tried again. They pursued charges, and Klyzek was indicted for aggravated battery, alleging she scratched and punched officers on July 31, 2013, during the raid of the business in the 1000 block of North Milwaukee. That charge was also thrown out after prosecutors saw the video, the lawsuit states.

There is literally nothing I can say about this heinous abuse of power except that these men have no business being police officers, and they need to be removed immediately.

I do want to highlight, however, that in coverage of this incident, there are some interesting, ahem, statements about Klyzek's immediate response to the raid:
While the video shows Klyzek as an uncooperative and unhinged arrestee, and is not as clear-cut as the notorious footage of off-duty cop Anthony Abbate beating a barmaid in 2007, it likely sounds unwanted echoes for police brass.

...The video shows plainclothes police march in through the front door, followed by uniformed officers, and attempt to apprehend an apparently confused Klyzek in the salon's lobby.

"What happened?" Klyzek asked before becoming hysterical. During a prolonged struggle she then yelled "f--- you" and "I want my lawyer," while one officer cried, "She bit me," and another shouted, "Guys, she scratched me!"

At one point an officer said, "Can I just Tase her? F--- it. I can Tase her 10 f------ times."
By the time she was handcuffed and kneeling on the floor, with her back to several male police officers, "she was screaming but appeared to be offering no physical resistance when an officer identified in the lawsuit as Frank Messina then smacked her in side of the head from behind."

In other words, once she realized that they were police officers, she stopped being "uncooperative," "unhinged," and "hysterical."

This framing is utterly mendacious, especially juxtaposed with the observation that she was confused about what was happening—and understandably so. From her perspective, it seems like a bunch of big, burly men have just walked in and started shouting at her and grabbing at her.

Is the suggestion here seriously that she should have "cooperated" with what appeared like an abduction by a bunch of random dudes? I would have been screaming and fighting in that situation, too.

Her reaction does not make this incident of police brutality any less "clear-cut" as other cases. No behavior warrants police hitting a suspect and shouting racist epithets at her and threatening violence against her and her family.

And, let's be perfectly clear: These were police officers who were threatening to harm her, who were standing over her while she was restrained talking about repeatedly tasing her. Resistance to that sort of police interaction is not "unhinged." It is eminently reasonable.

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