CHICAGO, IL — Community members are calling for a Round Lake Beach police officer to be removed from active duty after he was caught on video last Saturday punching a woman three times in the head — as she laid restrained on a gurney surrounded by first responders.
The incident happened Saturday August 22, after Round Lake Beach police responded to a 911 call requesting assistance because a woman was experiencing a mental health crisis, the department said Saturday.
In the video, several first responders surround the woman, who is lying on a gurney. Around 20 seconds in, a police officer standing near the woman’s head begins punching her in the head.
The officer later says to the camera that the woman bit him.
“Did you tape the part where she bit me in the leg?” he says in a video taken by witness at the scene. “See the bite mark?” he says later, turning his leg and pointing near his knee.
The video was shared widely on social media. On Sunday, a group of community leaders went to the Round Lake Beach police station to call for the officer to be removed from public duty.
The police department so far has defended the officer’s actions.
“Striking a person who is actively biting an officer is within policy,” a statement released by the department read. “To ensure that all officers followed proper policies and procedures, the Round Lake Beach Police Department will look to have an external evaluation of the incident.”