Woman Kneeled On By Police Speaks Out, Plans Civil Lawsuit Against CPD

Bernie Tafoya
June 04, 2020 - 1:32 pm

Related: VIDEO: Officer Drags Woman Suspected Of Looting Out Of Car, Kneels On Her Neck Outside Brickyard Mall

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The women who accuse Chicago Police officers of terrorizing them Sunday night in the parking lot of a Northwest Side mall want a criminal investigation into the officers.

There’s video that shows police bashing in a window of funeral director Tnika Tate’s car shortly after police ran up on it at the Brickyard Mall. 

Tate’s cousin, Mia Wright cried as she recounted being pulled out of the car by her hair after police smashed the window next to her, with police screaming all kinds of profanities at them. Wright said an officer also pinned her down with knee to her neck for what she estimates was two minutes. Tate said she found it hard to return to the same spot on Thursday.

"We can’t even grieve. We are just going through all type of changes. We are having nightmares. I’m always constantly looking behind my back to see if the police is coming up behind me. They ran up behind me. I feared for my life," she said.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating an allegation of abuse by Chicago police on Sunday night in the parking lot of the Brickyard Mall on the Northwest Side.
CBS Chicago

Wright was the only person charged with anything. She was charged with disorderly conduct. Tate and others want that charge dropped against Wright.  And, according to their lawyer, Nenye Uche they also plan a civil lawsuit.

Uche said the Cook County State's Attorney's Office needs to carry out a criminal investigation into what he calls a "vicious attack by police" against Tate, a funeral director and Wright, a funeral director assistant.  A statement from State's Attorney Kim Foxx said her office is reviewing the incident, "including the conduct of the police officers involved."

Said Uche: "You would think in this climate, these particular police officers would work on building trust and promoting peace, yet what we saw was them promoting and provoking fear, chaos and mayhem."

Chicago Police said they had stopped the car, because Wright had been seen with three or four people who had been looking to carry out some violence.  Wright and the others insist none of them had ever gotten out of the car until police stopped them.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the matter.

Wright said that when the officer had his knee on the left side of her neck, "all I thought about was George Floyd and it could have been another situation like that."

Community activist Jitu Brown said with all that's going on in the United States regarding the George Floyd's killing, the Chicago Police officers involved Sunday night still felt empowered enough to "brutalize" Tate, Wright, and the others in the car.

"SUVs full of white men patrolling our communities now are an occupying force. These people are not in our communities to be Officer Friendly," Brown said.

Wright's mother, Kimberly Woods was in the car and said she's been a Chicago Public School teacher for 38 years. She said that since Sunday, "when I see police cars, I get angry. I work at the school where kids...how can I tell my kids you're supposed to trust the Chicago police if you do stuff like this to people?"