Chicago Police Officer Indicted for Alleged Civil Rights Excessive Force Violation and Obstruction of Justice
CHICAGO―A Chicago Police officer was indicted on federal civil rights and obstruction charges alleging that he used excessive force by punching and kicking a victim and then lied in a police report to cover up the incident in 2012, federal law enforcement officials announced today. The defendant, ALDO BROWN, was indicted on one count of violating the unnamed victim’s civil rights to be free from unlawful seizures and the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer and two counts of obstruction of justice. Brown, 37, joined the Chicago Police Department in December 2002. He will be arraigned on a date yet to be scheduled in U.S. District Court.
The three-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury yesterday and was announced today by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Independent Police Review Authority cooperated with and assisted in the investigation.
According to the indictment, on Sept. 27, 2012, Brown and Officer A entered a convenience store located on East 76th Street in Chicago. When they arrived, the officers placed certain individuals inside the store in handcuffs, including Victim A. Brown and Officer A then began searching the store and the individuals inside. Shortly after Officer A removed the handcuffs from Victim A, Brown allegedly struck Victim A multiple times, resulting in bodily injury.
While Victim A was lying face down on the floor of the store, again in handcuffs, Brown recovered a firearm from Victim A’s rear pants pocket. Then, while Victim A was still handcuffed and lying face down, Brown allegedly kicked Victim A. Brown and Officer A then arrested Victim A.
One obstruction of justice count alleges that Brown made false statements in a tactical response report, including that Victim A was an “active resister,” who “fled” and “pulled away,” but the report did not indicate that Brown punched or kicked Victim A. Brown allegedly knew that Victim A did not actively resist, attempt to flee the situation, or pull away, and Brown knew that he punched and kicked Victim A.
The second obstruction count alleges that Brown lied in an arrest report, which falsely stated, in part, that:
P.O. Brown approached the above subject to conduct a field interview at which time the above subject stated to P.O. Brown, “I got some weed on me” and reached toward his rear pants pocket at which time P.O. Brown observed a handgun inside the above subject rear pants pocket. P.O. Brown conducted a emergency take down for officer safety and recovered the gun from the above subject rear pants pocket. The above subject was trying to pull away from P.O. Brown at which time P.O. Brown delivered a open hand stun to gain control of the above subject…
Brown allegedly knew the arrest report was false for multiple reasons, including that he did not observe a firearm on Victim A at the time of a field interview; he did not know that Victim A had a firearm in his possession until after he struck Victim A multiple times, handcuffed him for a second time, and Victim A was lying on the floor of the convenience store; and Victim A did not pull away from him as the arrest report indicated.
The civil rights count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and each count of obstruction of justice carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, and there is a $250,000 maximum fine on all three counts. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy DePodesta.
An indictment contains merely charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.