A Chicago police commander who had been praised for his crime fighting in some of the city’s roughest neighborhoods will go on trial on Tuesday on charges that he put a gun in a suspect’s mouth.
Glenn Evans, who was relieved of his duties pending the outcome of his case, was charged last year with aggravated battery and official misconduct in the capture of a suspect on Jan. 30, 2013.
Evans’ trial comes a day after the U.S. Department of Justice said that it was conducting a civil rights investigation of the third-largest U.S. city’s police department, including its use of force.
The city has seen nearly two weeks of protests following the release of a video of the shooting death of a 17-year-old black teen by a white police officer in 2014. The officer, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with murder in the shooting of Laquan McDonald on the same day the video was released.
On Monday, prosecutors said they would not seek criminal charges in another 2014 police shooting which caused the death of Ronald Johnson III. Prosecutors said Johnson had a gun and was fleeing arrest.
The amount of force that can be used by police officers has become a focus of national debate due to a series of high-profile killings of black men at the hands of mostly white police officers in U.S. cities.
Evans, who is black, has been the subject of several police misconduct lawsuits, according to local media reports. His case will be tried by Cook County Criminal Court Judge Diane Cannon, without a jury.
(Reporting by Nikitta Foston and Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)