Two of seven North Chicago police officers suspected to have been involved in the beating death of Darrin Hanna faced disciplinary action Friday, while their other colleagues returned to their previous posts.
Officer Brandon Yost, a six-year veteran of the force was to be discharged immediately from his position, while Arthur Strong, a seven-year veteran, will be suspended for 30 days without pay, North Chicago Police Chief James Jackson announced Friday, NBC Chicago reports.
As Jackson announced his decision, a crowd of onlookers yelled "cover up" and "liar," NBC reports.
According to ABC Chicago, Yost had admitted to hitting Hanna, while Strong falsified police reports on the incident. The other four officers and one supervisor involved in Hanna's November 2011 arrest had been put on temporary paid leave but, as of Friday, were given the go-ahead to return to work.
On Nov. 6, police responded to a report of domestic battery and detained 45-year-old Hanna, who had been accused of striking his pregnant girlfriend and attempting to drown her in a bathtub. Hanna struggled with police, sustaining injuries consistent with blunt force trauma and multiple discharges of a stun gun, and died several days later.
Hanna's death was officially attributed to several factors, including physical trauma and restraint and cocaine use that exacerbated his existing sickle cell anemia, but Hanna's family believed police officers involved should be held responsible.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Friday led a protest at North Chicago City Hall and was calling for the firing of all seven officers involved in the arrest, the Chicago Tribune reports. Jackson and others spoke out against what they see as a pattern of police brutality and the usage of excessive force in the northern suburb.
Former North Chicago Police Chief Mike Newsome was previously suspended over the brutality allegations against the officers he oversaw. During Newsome's six-year tenure, a half dozen police brutality claims have cost the city about $1.3 million in settlements.
Jackson previously called for a federal probe of Hanna's beating death.
"This is an appeal to federal officials to take this gross civil rights violation into account. This was excessive force to the point of death," Jackson said last week, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Earlier this month, newly-uncovered audio recordings, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, showed Hanna begging for his life and shouting "They're killing me" during a struggle with police. Hanna's relatives played the tapes for city council members earlier this month. The tape was not included in original police reports on the incident.
Six North Chicago police officers have been named in a civil rights lawsuit filed by Gloria Carr, Hanna's mother.
Carr told CBS Chicago that she believes the officers involved in her son's death should not only be fired, but also should face criminal charges, even though Lake County prosecutors last month concluded that they had acted reasonably in the incident.
"I feel that they deserve to be charged with murder, because they murdered my son," Carr told CBS. "And that's how I feel. They murdered my son."WATCH a previous report on Hanna's death and the controversy that has followed:
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