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Family calls for charges after saying off-duty Chicago cop pinned teen to sidewalk in Park Ridge – NBC Chicago

Family of 14-year-old boy are calling for criminal charges against an off-duty Chicago police officer who they say racially profiled their son because they believed the teenager had stole a bike.

The incident happened Friday evening in the suburb of Park Ridge, according to the family. In a video clip posted by Nicole Nieves, the teenager’s mother, a man is seen pressing his knee against his son’s back outside a Starbucks.

According to the video, the man, who identifies himself as a Chicago police officer, says he suspected the teen of stealing his son’s bike.

“He’s taking my son’s bike,” the man says in the video.

The teen’s friends are also seen in the video trying to help him up, shouting at the officer that the boy was doing nothing wrong.

“No he is not!” shout the teenager’s friends in the clip.

Nicole Nieves called the friends’ actions “courageous and courageous,” and attorney Antonio Romanucci echoed those sentiments.

“If it wasn’t for the boys, we don’t know what could have happened,” he said.

Now the teenager’s family are calling for criminal charges to be brought against the officer, with Nicole Nieves arguing it was a clear case of racial profiling.

“We see the bias of an off-duty cop taking advantage of a dark, Afro-haired, smaller boy choosing to take justice into his own hands with physical force,” she said. “A clear abuse of his position of authority, an authority intended to protect my son.”

Romanucci also blasted the officer’s actions, saying he acted well outside his authority during the incident.

“There is no doubt that our client has been the victim of racial profiling. Our client was the only person in the crowd who was of color,” he said. “A young man he thought was stealing a bike when he had no knowledge, no interview, no evidence, nothing at all, but just took it upon himself to enforce the law in another jurisdiction.”

A Park Ridge Police spokesperson said the officer identified himself to authorities responding to the scene after the incident. The family has since filed a criminal complaint with Park Ridge Police, and there is a possibility of charges in the case, according to Chief Frank Kaminski.

“Yes, there is the potential for charges,” he said. “We took this very seriously, and personally I find the images in this video very disturbing.”

Chicago police said they are also investigating the incident.

Nicole Nieves says the video shows the off-duty officer using excessive physical force and pointed out that her son was not resisting even as his friends tried to help him.

“What do we see? We see a frightened, but controlled and oddly calm child under the force of a grown man who puts excessive physical pressure on him. A grown man who didn’t use his words before using violence,” she said.

She also criticized community members who may jump to conclusions by watching the video.

“A lot of people are going to see the video and make judgments. ‘He had to do something first, all teenagers are in trouble these days, he shouldn’t touch other people’s property’, and so on. sequel,” she said.

As the investigation continues and the family considers legal action, the boy’s parents are concerned about the long-term effects the incident could have on him.

“The very thought of what could have been worse is heavy to bear, but it was a very traumatic experience for all of us,” Nicole Nieves said.

“At this time we are concerned about his mental well-being and his emotional well-being as well,” added Angel Nieves.

NBC Chicago

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