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Family requests charges against Chicago cop who pinned boy

July 7, 2022 GMT

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago family is requesting criminal charges against an off-duty Chicago police sergeant who they say pinned their 14-year-old son down and pressed a knee to his back because he mistakenly thought the boy was trying to steal his son’s bicycle.

Park Ridge police, the Chicago Police Department and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability have all launched investigations into the July 1 incident in Park Ridge. No arrest or disciplinary action has been announced.

“As parents, we are heartbroken over the abuse of power and excessive force used against our son,” the boy’s mother, Nicole Nieves, said Wednesday at a news conference. “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.”

The boy was out with friends Friday evening. Holding his bike, the boy was moving another bike that was blocking his path when the officer confronted him, said the family’s attorney, Antonio Romanucci.

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The officer grabbed the boy, pinned his arms behind his back on the sidewalk and put his knee on the boy’s back, according to video provided by Romanucci and the family, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The boy’s friends pleaded with the officer to get off him, and eventually the boy was freed.

“This is a clear-cut case of racial profiling,” Romanucci said. “The off-duty officer is white and the boy was the only person of color in a group of teenagers.”

The boy is Puerto Rican.

Park Ridge and Chicago police declined to comment on the case.