A department-lauded Chicago police veteran has been stripped of his authority and charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct for allegedly sticking his gun into the mouth of a suspect.
Commander Glenn Evans, who oversaw the city's West Side Harrison District and has frequently been praised by Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, appeared in court Thursday to face the charges, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The alleged incident happened in January 2013, when Evans and other officers saw a man named Rickey J. Williams holding a handgun in the street and gave chase, according to the Sun-Times. When they restrained and arrested Williams in a vacant home nearby, Evans allegedly put the barrel of his gun into Williams' mouth. Police did not recover a handgun during the incident, and Williams' misdemeanor reckless conduct charge was ultimately dropped.
Prosecutors also alleged in court that, although there was no indication in police accounts of the incident that Williams had resisted arrest, Evens threatened to kill him and pushed a Taser against Williams' groin, according to CBS Chicago.
WBEZ reported that the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates claims of excessive force against CPD officers, recommended that Evans be relieved of his police powers and referred his case to the State's Attorney's office after a lab test of material taken from Evans' weapon matched Williams' DNA profile.
McCarthy as recently as Monday defended Evans. But in response to the charges being filed Wednesday, he said in a statement that "the alleged actions, if true, are unacceptable to both the residents we serve and to the men and women of this department." McCarthy emphasized the department would cooperate with Evans' prosecutors, according to the Chicago Tribune.
WBEZ reports Evans was the subject of more excessive-force complaints between 1988 and 2008 than any other officer included in a recent report released by the Chicago Police Department, with at least 45 citizen complaints on file over the 20-year period. Only two of those complaints led to disciplinary action, according to the Sun-Times.
The charges against Evans come at a difficult time for the Chicago Police Department, which has faced community protests of its use of force on the heels of two police-involved fatal shootings over the weekend.
After appearing in court, Evans was released on his own recognizance.