CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago police officer seen on video slamming a man to the ground has been taken off the street — for now.
CPD agreed to strip the officer of his police powers at the request of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability as the investigation plays out.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar sat down with the mother of the man slammed in the video, and she calls the whole thing excessive.
The cell phone video picks up from 79th Street and Cottage Grove as a Chicago police officer lifts and slams Bernard Kersh to the concrete. His head slams against the curb, and he doesn’t move for the rest of the video.
Keshia Johnson, Kersh’s mother, said she was on the phone with him as he was arguing with police. The call suddenly ended.
Johnson recognized her 29-year-old son hours later in the now-viral video.
“I’m looking at this video and I see my son just laying on the ground just lifeless,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know if he was alive or not, I didn’t know what to think … It (hurt) me to see that.”
Police were writing Kersh a ticket for drinking in public. He was standing against the squad car and police say at some point Kersh spit at and licked an officer’s face.
CPD described the move as an “emergency takedown.”
“If he did do it, I think that was excessive,” Johnson said. “He could have killed him slamming him on his head like that.”
The officer in the video will be relieved of his police powers during investigation at the request of the Chicago Office of Police Accountability. pic.twitter.com/MWysR4x4jW
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) November 30, 2019
Jovanna Jamison recorded the video as she approached the intersection.
“I pulled out my phone and started recording and the officer slammed him to the ground,” Jamison said.
She didn’t want her face to be on camera.
“I don’t want any recognition, I’m not looking for notoriety,” Jamison said. “I’m just trying to bring light to a situation that could have been so easily put to the side.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted that while the video doesn’t show the entire incident, she found it “very disturbing.”
“He needs to be re-trained,” Johnson said. “He needs to be fired. I’m upset. That’s my child and he was hurt.”
Kersh is out of the hospital but in police custody. Charges against him are pending.