Chicago Police Officer Clauzell Gause was charged on May 17 with official misconduct based on a June 2014 incident that was filmed by a surveillance camera at the Jackson Park Hospital (video below).
According to Cook County prosecutors, Gause, 40, punched an unidentified handcuffed patient who was accused of assaulting Gause earlier (off-camera), notes the Chicago Tribune.
The patient was originally taken to the hospital against his will for a mental health evaluation.
The Cook County state's attorneys did not want to publicly release the video after Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. said he did not need to view the video to set Gause's bond, which was nothing; Gause was released on own recognizance.
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"I don't think locking you up is going to serve any purpose," Bourgeois told Gause, according to the Tribune. " ... I don't think you are a danger to anybody."
The Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates misconduct allegations against the Chicago police, released the video on May 17 after being pressed by a Tribune reporter.
Prosecutors said the patient was having his blood pressure checked when he allegedly punched Gause (off-camera). The patient was handcuffed and taken to the room on the video.
According to prosecutors, the patient suffered swelling and cuts on his forehead after Gause pushed him into the wall, punched him, held him on the bed, and hit him two more times.
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The video shows a second police officer in the hospital room during the attack, but he does not interfere.
Prosecutors said the Independent Police Review Authority investigators had trouble tracking down the victim from the nearly two-year-old case.
The Chicago Police Department has been rocked by videos of alleged police brutality as has the Independent Police Review Authority, which is supposed to hold the police accountable.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been in office since 2011, wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Sun Times on May 13, saying there needs to be changes made "to rebuild public trust and restore accountability in the police department," which included replacing "the Independent Police Review Authority with a new civilian investigative agency that has more independence and more resources to do its work."
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Gause was put on a desk job in June 2014, but he didn't say if there was any other disciplinary action taken, the Tribune notes.