After the leaking of a disturbing video showing the final moments of Anthony Kyser being attacked and killed by the manager of a CVS pharmacy in Chicago, a congressman is calling for a new probe into the man's death.
The video, posted Thursday by DNAinfo Chicago, was taken from surveillance footage of an alley near the CVS store in the city's Little Village neighborhood where 35-year-old Kyser fled after allegedly stealing toothpaste and crayons on May 8, 2010.
The video shows Kyser being pushed to the pavement and strangled by the store manager after a brief struggle while a second man appears to kick and punch Kyser and other men join in to hold him down. At one point, Kyser stops struggling. (Click through to DNAinfo to watch the full video, which contains graphic content.)
Police investigating the incident opted not to file charges as the CVS manager, who has been identified as Pedro Villanova, claimed self defense and they ruled it an accident. The Cook County Sheriff's Office also did not investigate the off-duty county officer who was on the scene as Kyser was being killed, but did nothing to stop the struggle. Kyser's death was ruled a homicide by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, DNA reports.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who spoke out in 2010 against the way Kyser's death was handled and unsuccessfully requested that Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez revisit the case, told Fox Chicago that, after watching the surveillance footage, he will send a letter to Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans asking him to re-investigate the death.
"The fact that now we have video that shows emphatically that he was lying on the ground and some people strangled him, kicked him and choked him and at the end of that episode he lay still, he was killed, right there on the spot," Rush told the station.
Kyser's parents filed a lawsuit claiming that the CVS manager assaulted and battered their son and that the store is responsible for that manager's actions. The lawsuit, seeking $400,000 in damages, remains pending in Cook County Circuit Court.
Marie Kyser, Kyser's mother, told CBS Chicago she hasn't watched the video, but is also hoping that officials will take a new look at her son's death.
“I did not teach my babies to steal,” Kyser told CBS. “But for him to take the law into his own hands, I don’t think that was fair.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Kyser was suspected of stealing a toothbrush.