Disturbing dashcam video from May 2013 is shining light on what happened the night a Chicago reverend was beat and pepper-sprayed by police as she sat in the car with her children.
The newly released video, which shows Officers Michelle Morsi-Murphy and Jose Lopez first pepper-spray Rev. Catherine Brown before drawing their weapons and pulling her out of her vehicle, corroborates Brown’s claim that she did not attempt to run the officers over, as they originally reported. The incident eventually led to a charge of attempted murder, after Morsi-Murphy said Brown’s car dragged her down the street. The charge was later dropped, but Brown was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct for putting her car in reverse.
The video, however, shows otherwise. As Brown drives down an alleyway toward her home, the police cruiser comes charging in the opposite direction. Brown says as she sat in the vehicle, Morsi-Murphy jumped out of the car and approached her yelling curse words and demanding she move the vehicle back. When Brown reached for her license, Lopez pointed a gun at her head.
That’s when Brown, scared for her life, called 911. In the call, you can hear her two children screaming in the back.
From Chicago CBS:
She repeatedly asks for a lieutenant and police to come and help. Her daughters’ screams can be heard on the calls.
Georgia Brown, the oldest sibling, was eight at the time and says she was afraid of the officers. “They might shoot us and kill us,” she says.
Instead of waiting for a supervisor, Brown says the officers forced her door open. Terrified, she drove backwards out of the alley, hoping neighbors might help. “Now she’s chasing me with the car. I come to a complete stop, and then she takes the car and rams it into me,” Brown says.
Her children were in the car at the time of the impact, she says.
Officer Morsi-Murphy then pepper-sprayed Brown while Officer Lopez laughed.
In the video, you can see Morsi-Murphy jump on top of a parked car and draw her gun on the family. Another cop hits her car with a metal rod. Brown is then pulled out of her vehicle violently and beat with batons.
They “Beat me down to my underwear, pulled my skirt off me,” Brown says. “They beat me with the sticks and hit me with their boots in my head.”
“She was scared to death,” Brown’s attorney, Ed Fox, says.
Brown has since sued the Chicago Police Department. She is also appealing her conviction.
The officers involved have not faced any disciplinary action, although The Citizens Police Data Project shows that Morsi-Murphy has racked up 19 complaints, while Lopez has 21 on record.
Chicago Police have yet to address the case publicly. A spokesperson declined to speak, as the litigation is ongoing.
You can watch the disturbing video above.
SOURCE: CBS | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube