Activists marching against police abuse in suburban North Chicago

November 9, 2012

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Activists, attorneys and politicians are planning to march against police violence and abuse in a suburb north of Chicago Saturday. The march is intended to put pressure on the North Chicago Police Department, which has seen a number of scandals in the last year. One of those involved the case of Darrin Hanna who was beaten by police during an arrest and died a week later.  More recently, the former police chief in North Chicago was charged with stealing money police had seized in drug cases.

Attorney Stephen Potts is planning to march Saturday. He’s suing the city on behalf of an 11-year-old who says last year Officer Casimir Rincon came to his school and handcuffed him and shoved him against some lockers in retaliation for an altercation between the boy and the officer’s child.

“When you have officers that can do what they want whenever they want, they’re going to do it,” said Potts. “They’re going to push it to the extremes, to the extremes of handcuffing an 11-year-old kid.  That’s where it is now. That’s how far it’s gotten.”

North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham says the city has talked to students, parents and teachers about the incident at the school but still doesn’t know what happened. But Rockingham says his police department has been actively discipling officers, firing one in the last year, in addition to suspending the police chief charged with stealing cash taken in drug seizures. He says he and the new police chief, a lieutenant, an Human Resources representative and a citizen now review every incident in which police use force.