(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Attorneys representing the family of a 14-year-old Park Ridge boy — whom an off-duty Chicago police sergeant had pinned to the sidewalk during what he believed was a theft-in-progress — are seeking criminal charges against the officer.
The online video of the incident this past Friday evening outside of a Starbucks has been widely seen. A white police officer, not in uniform, with his knee on the boy’s back. The boy, of Puerto Rican descent, was asking to be left alone.
Nicole Nieves, the mother of the teenage boy, said it was heartbreaking to watch the video.
“In a world where it already feels unsafe to go to the mall, to attend school, to enjoy a parade with family, the last thing we need is any reason to fear those who stand to protect us,” Nieves said.
The officer suspected Nieves’ son of stealing his boy’s bike.
“There’s no doubt that our client was racially profiled,” said Attorney Antonio Romanucci. “This 14-year-old boy had done nothing wrong. He had committed no crime. He wasn’t armed. He wasn’t aggressive. He was there with his bike.”
Nieves said it’s clear to see on the video that her son was scared.
“Underneath the force of a grown man pressing down on him, excessively, with physical force,” she said.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating. Park Ridge police are also continuing to look into the matter.
No charges have been filed against the boy or the officer.