By Patrick Forrest
The Chicago Police Department finds itself in hot water after video shows officers pulling two Black women out of their car while responding to an incident at Brickyard mall.
According to witnesses a group of young men had recently looted many stores in the mall and began to scatter at the sound of police sirens. Officers arriving on the scene almost instantly singled out Trinka Tate and Mia Wright, who were merely sitting in Tate’s vehicle in the parking lot.
“I was trying to get out with my hands up, they continue to break the window, and before you know it I was being pulled out of the vehicle – pulled by my hair out the vehicle,” Wright said. “The officer grabbed me. I had my hair tied in a bun. He grabbed me by the top of my bun and pulled me out of the vehicle. And that is when they threw me on the ground, and he proceeded to put his knee in my neck.”
This video posted on Twitter shows Chicago police officers pulling two women from their car and throwing them on the ground in the parking lot of the Brickyard Mall.
CHICAGO BRICKYARD , police thought looters left in this vehicle. couldn’t be more false. AGGRESSIVE FOR NO REASON pic.twitter.com/PfUlxRqV49
— cruz (@cruzzzyc) May 31, 2020
Despite not being involved in the looting and merely witnessing it, the two women’s experience could have been worse if compared to the George Floyd encounter which led to his death and nationwide protests and looting which CPD was responding to.
“I felt like an animal,” Wright said. “They pulled me by my hair, dragged me out the vehicle, had my face down on the concrete. The officer had his knee in my neck. I just felt like an animal. I felt like I wasn’t nothing, like I was not even a human being at that moment.”
Video of the incident has been viewed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office and an investigation into the conduct is currently underway by the CPD and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
If any wrongdoing is discovered, officers will be held accountable. Anyone who feels they have been mistreated by a CPD officer is encouraged to call 311 and file a complaint with COPA.
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) June 3, 2020
“COPA received a complaint regarding this incident and has opened an investigation to determine if the actions of involved officers are within Department policy,” COPA said in a statement. “We encourage anyone with information to contact our office at 312-746-3609 or visit our website at ChicagoCOPA.org.”
More information is expected as the women are expected to share details of their experiences in a news conference slated to take place Thursday afternoon.
This video originally appeared on ABC7 News.