Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The alderman, the cops, and the dude on the street in his underwear
Incident: Interfering with a Police Officer
Location: 5800 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
Police received a call for a “suspicious person” in the area of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Hamilton, described as a Black male who had taken off his clothes in the street. Officers arrived and observed the male standing in the middle of the street in only his underwear. The man, later determined to be 32 years old, was agitated and appeared to be in an altered state. He was pacing back and forth. The man would not answer any of the officers’ questions but officers were eventually able to convince the man to get out of the street and walk to the sidewalk.
While waiting for assistance from EMS to transport the man to a hospital, the officers on the scene saw two male bystanders in front of 5891 Dr. Martin Luther King who had their cell phones out and appeared to be videotaping the incident. The two men began to ask the 32 year old questions and comment on his behavior. The 32 year old had calmed down a bit from his earlier agitated state but officers feared he could again become irrational if the two bystanders continued to talk to him and videotape him while he wore only his underwear.
The officers asked the two men with the cell phones to step back. One of the men immediately complied. The second male, identified as [22nd Ward Alderman] Jeffrey Boyd, refused, stating he had the right to record video. Officers agreed he had the right but asked that he stop not only because the male was in his underwear, but also because of the man’s mental condition and the likelihood that it could agitate him, therefore posing a danger. Again they asked Mr. Boyd to step back and again Mr. Boyd refused. Concerned that they would be unable to diffuse the situation with Mr. Boyd while also keeping the 32 year old male from hurting himself or someone else, officers requested backup.
When an additional officer arrived, he noticed that the 32 year old appeared to be mentally unstable. An unidentified female approached, stating she did not know the male but that she had retrieved his clothing. The male began to put on his clothes while one of the officers talked to him in an attempt to keep him calm. As the officer talked to the man, the officer heard Mr. Boyd raising his voice as he spoke to other officers, telling them he was not going to move back. Mr. Boyd was asked a final time to move back but he again refused. Mr. Boyd was then told that he was being placed under arrest for “Interfering with a Police Officer” and was asked to put his hands behind his back. Initially he refused, telling the officers that they knew who he was. An officer then forcibly placed Mr. Boyd’s hands behind his back and handcuffed him. Mr. Boyd was issued a summons at the scene for “Interfering with a Police Officer” and released.
When EMS arrived, the 32 year old male had to be physically placed on the stretcher. For his own safety due to his irrational behavior and the potential to harm himself and/or others, he was handcuffed to the stretcher. He was not charged with any offense but was taken to a hospital for evaluation.