A New Disturbing Video Shows Police Tasing and Dragging a Man in Jail Before His Death

December 10th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

A new video released by the Chicago Police Department, on Monday, shows 38-year-old Philip Coleman being Tased and dragged down a hallway by officers back in December 2012. The case was reopened following the video's release, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

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Coleman later died at a hospital from an allergic reaction to medication he was given, a county medical examiner determined, but a lawyer for the man's family, Ed Fox, alleges that officers beat and shocked the man 13 times, contributing to his death.

In the video, a group of six officers can be seen entering Coleman's cell and talking to him for about a minute before restraining and shocking him with a Taser. There is no audio, so it is unclear what prompted the confrontation, but by the end of the scene, an officer drags Coleman down a hallway by his handcuffs. Coleman was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother during a psychotic episode.

"He was not cared for properly," Fox told the New York Times. "They set up the perfect storm to cause his death."

While the county medical examiner ruled the death an accident, an autopsy report notes that Coleman's body showed signs of trauma, including 50 bruises and abrasions.

Coleman's father, Percy, who served as a law enforcement official in Illinois, believes that the officers involved in his son's detention should be held criminally responsible and argues that the case reflects broader patterns of racial bias in Chicago policing.

"Somebody in this city needs to be responsible for killing my son, and the Chicago police are at the head of this table," Coleman told the New York Times. "They broke every rule in the book."

The video's release comes at a time of growing tension between the Chicago Police Department and the communities they serve. In the last month, the department has released two controversial videos showing fatal shootings by Chicago police, inspiring protests throughout the city.

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The fatal shootings of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson have also raised questions about the department's use of force policy and overall accountability, and the U.S. Justice Department recently announced that it was launching an investigation into the department.

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In a statement following the video's release, Emanuel said "I do not see how the manner in which Mr. Coleman was physically treated could possibly be acceptable."

He added:

"Something is wrong here—either the actions of the officers who dragged Mr. Coleman, or the policies of the department. I have not received a sufficient answer on either from IPRA's former leadership, and as a result I do not consider this case to be closed or the investigation into what happened that night to be over."