Chicago man in viral police ‘takedown’ video appears in court

Chicago News USA

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CHICAGO — A preliminary hearing was supposed to be held Thursday for a man who was body-slammed by a Chicago police officer, but instead the state is going to ask a grand jury to indict Bernard Kersh. He is scheduled to be arraigned next month.

Kersh, 29, is charged with assault and resisting police. Cell phone video of the arrest was posted on social media.

A Chicago police officer body-slammed Kersh, and he can be seen in the video hitting his head on the pavement.

Police said last week, Kersh was drinking alcohol at a bus stop near 79th and Cottage Grove. Officers started to write him a ticket for drinking in public, when they said Kersh licked the officer’s face and spit on him.

His family said Kersh suffers from schizophrenia and needs treatment.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, of Rainbow PUSH, posted bond to get Kersh out of jail — but the Illinois Department of Corrections has a hold on him.

Kersh’s attorneys said they are doing everything they can to get him out of jail and into treatment. His mother said more needs to be done.

At least two police officers seen in the video were relieved of their powers, and interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck agreed.

The next court date in the case is scheduled for Jan. 15.

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