Bernard Kersh, Man Who Was Body-Slammed By Chicago Cop Jerald Williams, Freed From Jail

Chicago News

CHICAGO (CBS) — The man who was body-slammed by a Chicago Police officer after he spit in the officer’s face was freed from Cook County Jail on Friday night.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson posted bond for Bernard Kersh, and the two walked out of the jail complex at 26th and California.

Officer Jerald Williams slammed 29-year-old Bernard Kersh in the 700 block of East 79th Street around 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The video shows the man’s head slamming against the curb, and he doesn’t move for the rest of the 40-second video.

Police said officers stopped Kersh to give him a ticket when they saw him drinking alcohol in plain view at a bus stop. That’s when they said he resisted arrest, and spat at and licked an officer’s face.

Arrest report for Bernard Kersh.

The police department called the incident an “emergency takedown.”

Kersh was charged with one felony count of aggravated battery, one misdemeanor account of resisting police and one misdemeanor count of simple assault. He was also cited for drinking alcohol in public. He was taken to the University of Chicago medical Center.

The family’s attorney, Andrew M. Stroth, said Kersh suffers from mental health issues, including schizophrenia.

Stroth also said he believes Williams used his MMA skills as a “lethal weapon” when he slammed Kersh to the ground.

Keshia Johnson, Kersh’s mother, agrees and said she believes the officer’s actions were “totally excessive.”

“I think that the officer – I think he went about handling my son the wrong way,” Johnson said. “…He could have killed him. That was a really hard blow to the head. I think that the police needs to find other ways of handling people, other than what he did.”

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