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Chicago police officer in newly released video of man being beaten while in custody was captured in other viral footage the same year

Paige Fry, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO — One of the two Chicago police officers in a video released this week of a man being beaten while in custody was also captured in footage of a suspect being body-slammed on a city street the same year, records show.

Damien Stewart and community organizer William Calloway held a news conference at City Hall to discuss the video of the in-custody beating, which occurred after Stewart was arrested following a traffic stop and charged with aggravated battery against a police officer, according to Calloway.

“There is no room in place for that type of uncalled for violence for an unarmed man that’s already in police custody,” Calloway said, calling for the termination of the officer who punched Stewart. “It’s uncalled for and it’s appalling.”

After learning the news about Tyre Nichols, a Black man who was fatally beaten by Memphis police officers, Stewart decided to release and speak about the 2019 security footage from a Chicago police district station that shows two officers choking and punching him multiple times in the face while in lockup, Calloway said.

The two officers involved in Stewart’s case, Jerald Williams and Enrique Delgado Fernandez, were both suspended. Williams served a 15-day suspension in November 2021 and Fernandez served a 10-day suspension in April 2022 following the disciplinary grievance process, according to a Chicago police spokesperson.

Records identify Fernandez as the officer who struck Stewart.

 

Williams was also involved in another police brutality case the same year as Stewart’s beating, records show.

In November 2019, a bystander took a video that went viral of a Chicago police officer body slamming then 29-year-old Bernard Kersh after authorities alleged he spat in the officer’s face. That officer was later identified as Williams, with the same star number, in the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s report on the body slam.

A CPD spokesperson said they could not disclose what punishment Williams received for the body-slamming case, saying that the punishment is being appealed through a grievance process.

However, according to records from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the organization recommended a 45-day suspension for Williams in the case. At the time, police Superintendent David Brown thought that recommendation was too lenient and sought a 135-day suspension.

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