A Chicago police dashcam video (below) from May 13, 2013, recently surfaced, and it shows cops stopping Rev. Catherine Brown while she had two small children in her car. The police allegedly pepper-sprayed one of the kids and used excessive force against Brown.
Brown told CBS Chicago that was driving home through an alley when she saw a police car, without sirens or emergency lights on, coming at her; so she honked her horn.
According to Brown, Officer Michelle Morsi Murphy got out of the squad car, cursed and ordered her to back her car out.
"It startled me," Brown recalled. "I reached for my license … The other officer [Jose Lopez] takes the gun and points it at the front of my head."
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Brown said she was scared and called 911 several times to ask for a lieutenant and more police to come to the scene. During the calls, Brown's daughters can be heard screaming in the background.
Brown added that the two officers refused to wait for a supervisor and instead forced her door open. That's when Brown drove backwards out of the alley in hopes of finding help from residents.
"Now [Murphy is] chasing me with the car," Brown described while watching the video. "I come to a complete stop, and then she takes the car and rams it into me."
In the video, Officer Murphy can be seen pepper-spraying Brown, and it allegedly hit one of the kids as well. Lopez was caught on video laughing; Murphy got on top of another car and pointed her gun Brown.
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More police arrived and pulled Brown out of her car.
"[The cops] beat me down to my underwear, pulled my skirt off me," Brown said. "They beat me with the sticks and hit me with their boots in my head."
Brown was charged with attempted murder because Murphy said Brown had dragged her, but Brown was acquitted of the charge. The pastor was convicted of a reckless conduct misdemeanor because she drove in reverse, but she is appealing.
The Citizens Police Data Project found that Murphy has 19 complaints, and Lopez has 21, notes CBS Chicago.
"When you have that many complaints, it should alert the police department, something’s wrong," Ed Fox, Brown’s attorney, said.
"I got treated like an animal," Brown added.
Brown has filed a lawsuit, presumably against the officers and the police department, notes ABC 7 Chicago.
A Chicago police spokesperson said in a statement:
Reaffirming our commitment to accountability and integrity is paramount in our efforts to rebuild trust between police officers and communities. Since there is pending litigation in this case, CPD is not able to comment on specifics.
However, we take allegations of excessive force and discourtesy very seriously. These matters are thoroughly investigated by the Independent Review Authority and individuals are held accountable when wrongdoing is discovered.