Chicago Police Department

Chicago Cops Body-Slammed a Man on Thanksgiving, Then Charged Him With Assault

The arresting officer is on desk duty and an investigation is underway.


A viral video captured Bernard Kersh, 29, being slammed to the ground during a Thanksgiving arrest. Now the Chicago Police Department has charged the suspect with assault and placed the arresting officer on desk duty.

According to the police, Kersh was stopped for drinking on the public way. After being confronted, the department says, he threatened, became verbally abusive toward, and spat on the officers, then resisted arrest.

The incident was filmed and shared by Facebook user Jovonna Alexiss Jamison. The video shows Kersh with his body against a police truck. The arresting officer then picks Kersh up by the waist and throws him to the ground. He meets the sidewalk head first. Another man checks on Kersh, but he remains motionless for the remainder of the short video.

Kersh now faces charges for aggravated battery of a peace officer, resisting arrest, assault, and public drinking.

Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson tweeted a press release on Sunday saying that he would attend Kersh's bond hearing later that day. "Unnecessary force could have cracked his skull," he explained. "No one deserves this kind of treatment."

Jackson's concern for Kersh's well-being is not without cause. In addition to the disturbing video, a picture that the police department shared on Facebook shows Kersh with what appears to be swelling under his eye. According to Jackson, Kersh was hospitalized.

Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition posted $500 for bail, and Kersh was allowed to return to his family under 24-hour surveillance.

WGN reports that Kersh has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The local station also reports that the department is currently unaware of any body camera footage from the arrest.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability announced on Friday that it is conducting an investigation.

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  1. “The local station also reports that the department is currently unaware of any body camera footage from the arrest.”

    Well, now there’s a shock – – – – – – – –

    1. That’s from the tazer that the body camera didn’t pick up.

    2. No more shocking than the fact the video we do have of the incident starts only when the cop gets violent and shows nothing of what happened prior to that. Convenient.

      1. There’s no video of you going down on a cop in an alleyway, but we all know it happened.

        1. And since we can safely assume he doesn’t agree with spitting on cops, we can feel safe assuming that he swallows.

  2. Jesse Jackson is still a thing, apparently.

    1. At least in Chicago.

    2. someone tweeting in his name anyway

    3. Maybe it’s Jesse Jackson Jr. Or is he still locked up?

    4. He’s not a thing, he is a person.

      1. More than we can say for you

    5. Frank Zappa on Jesse Jackson:

      Rhymin’ Man

  3. Kersh now faces charges for aggravated battery of a peace officer, resisting arrest, assault, and public drinking.

    I’m going to guess the assault on the police officer occurred before the video started.

    The officer should be charged with assault and lose his job.

    1. Assault for dropping someone’s head onto a concrete sidewalk? Try attempted murder.

      1. Yeah, that’s probably not going to fly. If you over charge, then he walks.

        1. He will walk. That’s a given. A grand jury can indict a ham sandwich, but it can’t indict a pig.

          1. I don’t know what sort of Hannibal-esque solution you are implying there, sir, but I don’t like it.

            1. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

    2. Police should be trained and required to subdue suspects without injuring them. And don’t give me any bullshit about it not being possible. It totally is. If you can’t subdue a suspect without injury, you should find another line of work, preferably away from other people, like a toll booth operator, or a graveyard attendant.

      1. Police are trained and required to have a zero-tolerance policy towards non-compliance and a zero-tolerance policy for anything that could compromise officer safety. Subduing someone without causing them injury could lead to a bruise or a broken nail, and that compromises officer safety. And don’t forget that there is a war on cops.
        Put all that together and it’s no surprise that cops laugh at the concept of deescalation, or at not causing injury.
        They are literally trained to walk around with an attitude of “Do what I say or I’m gonna fuck you up.”

        1. Sarcasm aside…most people would react violently to a stranger spitting on them.

          1. Most people are not given a badge.

            1. If you can, do. If you can’t, teach. I’d you have no other options, the cops will take you.

          2. And most people would be charged with a serious crime for reacting to the spitter by attempting to split their skull on the corner of the sidewalk.

            1. Good to see you fucking retards will immediately abandon the right to self defense as long as it involves absolving criminals and screwing cops.

              1. Good to see cop dick suckers like you will abandon all negative thoughts of escalation as long as the perpetrator is sanctioned by the city.

              2. Proportion. Look it up.

              3. Self defense? From what, saliva? I’m curious whether you’re serious. You certainly seem to be, but I try not to assume that other people are idiots without considering alternative explanations.

      2. And don’t give me any bullshit about it not being possible. It totally is.

        Welp some braindead cunt on the internet said it so it must be true!

        Hurrrrrrr if you can’t arrest an aggressively violent crackhead without hurting them then don’t be a cop durrrrrrr derpa herp durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  4. The problem is the way the cop reacted not that the guy got charged with assault. Since yes technically spitting on someone is a form of assault (I think). I live in Chicago and local news outlets are saying this guy has been arrested in the past for doing similar things to cops.

    Just don’t spit on cops, it’s stupid. The cop needs to undergo some more training and attend therapy before being allowed out on patrol again.

    1. Spitting is assault, as are a lot of inconsequential things (yelling in someone’s eat, getting up closer in their face). Aggravated assault is a little different.

    2. The spitting actually constitutes the battery in the charge.

  5. since the cop had him against the car already facing away where he could no longer spit on him the actions look excessive to the point of criminal and even if the victim had used force already against the cop the cop appeared to be in control by the time he body slamed him.

    1. But his verbal abuse could still be heard challenging their authority.

  6. “The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.” ~Robert Higgs

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