SOUTH SHORE — More than a year after a Chicago officer hit and severely injured 32-year-old Martina Standley with a police SUV, body cam footage released Tuesday shows Standley laying in the street, bleeding from her head and her leg crushed under the SUV’s tire.
It would be at least eight minutes before paramedics arrived to treat Standley around midnight Nov. 14, 2019, near 71st Street and Jeffery Avenue in South Shore. At points, she appears unresponsive, the video shows.
Upon finding Standley on the ground, the officer driving the marked SUV said to her, “Girl, ain’t nobody hit you like that.” And then, with blood visible around her head and her leg under the car’s tire, he said, “Oh, s—. F—,” according to the video.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
The police body-cam videos were released by activist William Calloway, who filed a Nov. 19, 2019, public records request for footage related to the incident. Police failed to turn over the video until a Cook County judge ordered the videos to be released, about nine months after Calloway filed the request, he said.
A Cook County judge ordered the release of the videos in August. Despite the court order, the Chicago Police Department didn’t initially comply and Calloway had to return to court, he said. The department finally released the footage in the fall, he said.
“My [Freedom of Information Act request] didn’t get satisfied until a year after,” Calloway said. “A court had to order Chicago Police Department and the city to release this. This is not something that the city wanted or willfully did. This was forced.”
Two videos were released by Calloway on Tuesday morning. The one below is apparently from a body camera worn by the officer riding in the SUV’s passenger seat.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
Body-camera footage taken from the officer driving the car shows Standley gesturing at the squad car for a few seconds around the 1:45 mark of the video.
After Standley apparently touches the squad car’s spotlight, the officer drives forward, hitting her. The released video has no audio of the moments immediately before and during the collision.
Upon exiting the car and finding Standley on the ground — around the two-minute mark in the video — the driving officer says, “Girl, ain’t nobody hit you like that.” Then, with blood visible around Standley’s head and her leg under the car’s tire, he says, “Oh, s—. F—.”
Thirty seconds later, the officer calls for an ambulance for “an accident — we hit a pedestrian that was banging on the car.” At this time, Standley appears unconscious, the video shows.
Over the next few minutes, the officer and others at the scene debate whether to reverse the car off of Standley’s leg. She remains unresponsive to officers’ questions.
“He hit her. Her whole leg’s gone,” one witness said in the video after the driving officer repeatedly claimed it was an accident to passersby.
As blood leaks from Standley’s head, the driving officer repeatedly touches her arms and body, encouraging her to “stay up.”
About four minutes after the officer hit her, Standley begins to move. Shortly after she shows signs of consciousness, the driving officer is told to “reverse slowly,” but upon opening the door, hesitates and hollers, “Wait.”
The driving officer then shuts the door and does not move the car — or enter it again — after being told to reverse.
Around the 9:30 mark, the driving officer tells another officer Standley “came banging on the window … . I thought I was in reverse.” Emergency crews arrive with a stretcher about 10 minutes into the video.
Standley is still recovering from major head and leg injuries nearly 14 months after the officer ran her over, said Andrew M. Stroth, an attorney for Standley’s family and managing director of the Action Injury Law Group.
A lawsuit filed days after Standley was injured against the Police Department and the officer who hit her is pending in state court, Stroth said. The suit alleges the officer, who is not identified in court documents, intentionally “weaponized his patrol car” against an unarmed Standley.
Standley is seeking at least $50,000 each from the city and the officer plus court costs, according to the suit.
“I would think that Mayor Lightfoot would be interested in resolving these cases and reforming the police department, versus the city not disclosing videos and continuing to litigate cases that in my opinion are indefensible,” Stroth said.
In the wake of the Anjanette Young raid, the footage of the officer hitting Standley “shows another Black woman in the city of Chicago violently harmed and violated by the Chicago Police Department,” Calloway said.
Calloway also fought for the release of videos showing the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald and the 2018 police shooting of Harith Augustus, the latter of which happened on the same South Shore block where Standley was run over by police.
The city’s latest response to his Freedom of Information Act request for the Standley videos is “another case of a lack of transparency.”
“It’s disheartening to know in a post-Laquan McDonald era … we’re still failing at transparency,” Calloway said. “While [the city] was litigating to keep the Anjanette Young video from being released, they were litigating against my attorneys to keep the aftermath of what happened to Martina Standley from being released, as well.”
After denying Calloway’s request, the police department failed to prove its claim that publicizing the footage would threaten the integrity of COPA’s investigation into the incident, Judge Alison Conlon said in her August order to release the videos.
“If CPD’s position is accepted as true, all police records would be exempt for all ongoing investigations, which is contrary to the plain language of FOIA,” Conlon said.
The best way for community members to support Standley is to demand Lightfoot and the city release all videos of officers’ violent actions — like those involving her, Young and Verona Gunn — within a 60-day timeframe, Stroth said.
“That’s how the community can support Martina — demand transparency and demand that the mayor, the chief of police and the officers of the police department respect the sanctity of life,” he said.
Chicago Police did not respond to questions about the identities of the officers involved. The officers remain on active duty while a Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigation continues, a police spokesperson said.
A preliminary investigation from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, including a review of video footage, determined the incident was not a “police action” in which officers were pursuing a suspect or called to the scene, spokesman Ephraim Eaddy said.
Therefore, the incident did not involve a “use of force” and is not subject to city policy governing the release of police videos, he said. That policy requires videos of “use of force” incidents to be released within 60 days.
“In this [incident], she approached them when they were sitting in the car,” Eaddy said.
City policy defines “use of force” incidents as incidents where officers kill or cause great bodily harm to a person in police custody.
COPA is “actively investigating to determine if officers were engaged in misconduct and/or other administrative violations including inattentive to duties,” Eaddy said. The investigation has been ongoing since Nov. 21, 2019.
A report summarizing the investigation will be posted to COPA’s website after the investigation is completed, the police department reviews it — and, if applicable, disciplinary charges are issued against the involved officers, Eaddy said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday she has not seen the video and cannot comment on it.
“But obviously I’ll look into it. … I don’t know any of the circumstances here, but I’ll look into it,” Lightfoot said.
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