CHICAGO (AP) — The release of video from an officer’s body camera showing a woman on the ground after being struck by a police SUV marks the second time in less than a month that Chicago police video dating back to 2019 has been made public after the city fought to keep it private.
The video released by an activist this week shows Martina Standley approach and apparently touch a searchlight affixed to the SUV in the South Shore neighborhood on Nov. 13, 2019, before she is struck. The officer climbs out and walks around the front of the SUV, where she is bleeding.
The officer can be heard saying, “Girl, ain’t nobody hit you like that” before he spots her on the ground and utters an expletive. He then can be heard calling for an ambulance, telling the dispatcher: “A accident, uh, we hit a pedestrian that was banging on the car,” before saying that he’d tried to “put the car in reverse.”
The officer asks the woman, “You OK? Can you breathe? Can you talk? He also speaks into his radio, asking for a sergeant “over here quick,” before saying, “We need EMS, we need crowd control, we need everything.”
Standley, who was 32 at the time, was hospitalized for a month for treatment of a major head injury, said activist William Calloway, and she continues to undergo physical therapy.
The video’s release is the result of an effort by Calloway, who played a key role in a legal fight that led a judge to order Chicago to release video of a white police officer, Jason Van Dyke, fatally shooting Black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014.
Days after Standley was struck, Calloway filed a Freedom of Information request for the video. After police denied the request, saying the investigation was ongoing, Calloway sued. A judge ordered the release of the video in August, but Caloway said the video that the police department gave him the next month was too redacted and blurry. A judge later ordered that the unredacted video be released. He said he watched the full video this month before making it public.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which is investigating, said it had declined to release the video because it didn’t meet the criteria of material it typically makes public involving the use of force.
The release comes weeks after another video the city fought to keep private aired on WBBM-TV in Chicago that showed officers barge into a wrong home and handcuff a naked woman, Anjanette Young, who lived there. Young had obtained the video of part of her lawsuit against the city.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot came under intense criticism for the city’s legal effort to keep the video private. The Feb. 19, 2019, raid happened before Lightfoot became mayor and she initially said that when the video was aired that she’d never seen it or even known about it. She later acknowledged that she did know about the incident, has apologized to Young and accepted the resignation of the head of the city’s law department.
Calloway, who noted that Standley was struck by the police SUV after Lightfoot took office, drew parallels between the city’s actions surrounding both videos.
“This happened on her watch and the thing that troubles me is at the same time they are litigating against Anjanette Yong they are simultaneously litigating against me and my attorneys,” he said.