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After midnight on August 28, 2021, Nikkita Brown, a Black woman, was walking her French bulldog on North Avenue beach where she was immediately approached by Bruce Dyker, a white Chicago police officer.
After Dyker told Brown that the beach was closed and she needed to leave, the situation began to escalate. According to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, Brown was “forcibly grabbed” by the officer “after words were exchanged.”
In the body cam provided by FOX 32 Chicago, Brown asked Dyker to respect her space, saying, “respect my space,” and he responded, “Respect your space? I’m about to put handcuffs on you.” As Dyker began moving closer and closer to Brown, she felt very intimidated and asked him to “back up,” as he was violating her personal space.
However, Dyker continued to tell Brown to “Get out of the park.” He starts shouting at Brown, saying, “What do you not understand about that? The park is closed. You are trespassing on city property, and you will go to jail if you don’t take your dog and leave.”
Brown began to back away from Dyker while repeatedly telling him to “back up” and saying, “You need to move away from me. I feel threatened. I feel threatened.”
Dyker responded, “good.”
Officer resigns amid investigation into harassment of Black woman
After Dyker said this, Brown paused and looked at her phone to record the incident. That’s when Dyker grabbed her phone and harassed her. In the body cam footage, Brown repeatedly screamed, “let go of me, let go!” to Dyker. He detained Brown for almost a minute before releasing her and letting her walk freely.
Keenan Saulter, Brown’s lawyer, states that the case was an “obvious case of racial profiling” because white pedestrians were around but not approached by Dyker in the same manner as Brown.
According to Saulter, “He never had a reason to approach her. He never had a reason to attack her and never had a reason to arrest her…And the best evidence of that is that after he attacked her, he allowed her to walk away.”
Dyker joined the Chicago Police Department in 1998; since then, he has had 25 complaints filed against him. Yet, only three out of those 25 complaints have been upheld.
Moreover, half of those allegations involved a verbal or physical disagreement. However, this is not Dyker’s first time with racial complaints, as he has a history of similar incidents. Many individuals have accused Dyker of verbal abuse, extreme force, and composing threats in several instances.
On almost every occasion, investigators stated that Dyker had acted within department guidelines or the claims against him were unjustified. When investigators could not reach witnesses and victims or complainants never signed the affidavits, they determined that the allegations were unsustainable.
A long list of complaints against former officer Dyker
Let’s look into some of Dyker’s complaints, according to South Side Weekly:
In August 2002, Dyker and another officer came to a gym in Belmont Cragin to escort an intoxicated man from the establishment. However, when the man did not move quickly enough, Dyker shoved him to the ground, hitting his head against the concrete and leaving him unconscious. The man went to the hospital and filed a complaint about the incident. In the police reports, Dyker and his partner claim that he “slipped and fell.” However, the man dropped the allegations, and Dyker was off the hook.
In November 2008, Dyker was charged with aggravated assault and arrested after verbally abusing and pointing his gun at a victim in New Tazewell, Tennessee. This happened during a domestic conflict; a CPD sergeant reported the encounter to IPRA, and Dyker was given a 20-day suspension.
In December 2017, Dyker pulled over a Black woman operating for Uber in Wicker Park. Before signing the ticket, the woman asked to speak to a supervising officer when Dyker grabbed her, handcuffed one of her wrists, and slammed her against the vehicle. Following the incident, the woman was sent to the University of Chicago Hospital, where she suffered a bruised and swollen jaw. Despite this encounter, Dyker was dismissed from any wrongdoing by the COPA yet again.
The constant patterns of verbal and physical abuse has led many to believe Dyker is unfit to represent our country, let alone be a police officer.
Following the incident with Brown, Dyker was placed on administrative leave and given desk duty. However, when the video began circulating and receiving mass media attention, Dyker decided to leave the Chicago Police Department before any disciplinary action was declared.