Chicago Police Sgt. Edward Howard Jr. charged with Aggravated Battery and Official Misconduct for Hitting Teenager when Handcuffed


Sgt. Edward Howard Jr. was charged by Cook County prosecutors with aggravated battery and official misconduct for allegedly slapping Gregory Jeffries, 19, while his hands were cuffed behind his back.

Sgt. Howard claimed the boy tried to spit at him.

The teenager denies that.

I just thought it only happened in movies, Jeffries, a freshman at Kennedy-King College, said during an interview Tuesday evening at his attorney’s office. Jeffries said he was asking officers why he was being arrested Oct. 11 outside a fast-food restaurant at 7904 S. Vincennes Avenue when Howard arrived , taunted him and struck him in the face three times, causing his mouth to bleed.


After a bond hearing Friday, Howard’s attorney, Robert Kuzas, said his client’s actions were justified because Jeffries had cleared his throat while preparing to spit at the 24-year veteran. If I tried to spit on you, wouldn’t you find that offensive? Kuzas said. I don’t care who you are, if someone is trying to spit on you, of course you have a right to defend yourself.

But prosecutors said surveillance video that captured the incident showed Jeffries was cooperating with police and never acted in a physically provocative manner. A number of officers who allegedly stood by during the assault were stripped of their police powers.

It makes no sense to me, said Jeffries, who filed a federal lawsuit last month against the city and the officers. He knows that wasn’t the truth. Jeffries said his trust in police has been shaken. Now I know they don’t really serve and protect, he said. — Chicago Tribune —,0,2328424.story


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