Weeks after a Chicago police officer was captured on cellphone video aggressively grabbing a Black woman walking her dog along the lakefront, the woman spoke publicly about the altercation for the first time in an interview with Good Morning America.
Attorneys for Nikkita Brown have previously said that on Aug. 28, the officer in the video approached her and asked her to leave North Avenue Beach because it was closed. She complied. But as Brown told ABC News, the officer continued to drive behind her as she tried to leave the beach.
He later got out of his vehicle to follow her on foot, even though she repeatedly told him that she was leaving the area, she said.
From ABC News:
The officer got out of his car and told her, “You can go to jail,” according to a video taken by Brown who recorded part of the encounter. Brown said he also allegedly told her she would never see her dog again.
Brown said she took her cell phone out to record the altercation and call for help.
“Even if somebody didn’t answer,” she said, she wanted to “at least leave a voicemail and say, ‘if you call me in the morning and you don’t reach me, I’m in jail, or worse.’”
The video showed the officer as he grabbed Brown in what appeared to be an attempt to take away her phone. He physically struggled with her for about two minutes, per ABC News, as Brown could be heard on the video screaming for help. Eventually, the struggle ended and Brown and the officer left the scene.
“I knew if he got me on the floor, I would be dead,” Brown told ABC News.
Brown said she felt that she was racially profiled because she noticed that the same officer didn’t say anything to four white males who were also in the area that night before he confronted her.
The unidentified officer in the video has since been placed on desk duty as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates the incident, according to ABC News. COPA is an independent agency that investigates allegations of misconduct by Chicago police officers.
More from ABC News:
“We have a responsibility to investigate allegations of police misconduct and determine if they are well founded based on the facts and evidence of each case,” interim COPA chief Andrea Kersten said in a statement. “If violations did occur, COPA will hold the officer accountable.”