Man who claimed police brutality opts for trial

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — A man who was captured on cellphone video being detained by Lincoln Park police officers stood mute while a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and will face a district court trial in January on charges including resisting arrest.

John Herrick, 23, appeared before 25th District Court Judge David Zelenak Friday, Sept. 27, a month after he’d been detained while police escorted a crowd away from Lincoln Park Days on Aug. 24, which had closed down early for the night due to a number of unrelated events. Event organizers described a festival that was getting “hot and heavy” with fights to include a beer tent assault. Groups of teenagers had been intimidating people during the event, which attracted more than the usual number of attendees.

Herrick had made available to a local television station cellphone video footage that showed two officers escorting the crowd, engaged in conversation with a man — off camera — walking ahead of them, presumably Herrick. The unsteady footage then showed Herrick being detained by police, taken to the ground and handcuffed. Herrick had been taken to the police station pending misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and assault.

A police spokeswoman said last month that Herrick had taken “a hostile stance” against the officers; neither Herrick’s actions nor statements made immediately before being detained by police were included in the video footage that was shown to the media.

Rather than enter a plea, Herrick stood mute as a not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and a trial was scheduled for January in 25th District Court.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)