Chicago, IL – The Chicago police officer who was filmed in a confrontation with a woman who was walking her dog after-hours at a lakefront park has resigned from the department before disciplinary action could be taken against him.
“Bruce just had enough of the nonsense and scrutiny for doing his job,” Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John Catanzara told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“He got the hell out of this city and got the hell out of this state and is moving on with his life,” Catanzara added.
The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) launched an investigation into the incident and identified now-former Chicago Police Officer Bruce Dyker as the cop featured in the video of the altercation that was filmed by a nearby bus driver in August of 2021, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
COPA finished its investigation in October of 2021 and sent its disciplinary recommendations to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, according to South Side Weekly.
Superintendent Brown decided how he wanted to discipline the veteran officer, who has been on desk duty since the investigation was started, and sent his decision to the city’s Law Department for review, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Although the superintendent’s decision was not released to the public, it could have ranged anywhere from suspension to termination.
Officer Dyker resigned after 24 years on the Chicago police force before Superintendent Brown’s discipline could be meted out, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Attorneys for Nikkita Brown said in a press release that she was walking her dog at about 12:12 a.m. on Aug. 28 when she encountered a Chicago police officer, WMAQ reported.
Brown said Officer Dyker told her he was kicking her off the beach because the park closed at 11 p.m., WBBM reported.
But her lawyers said in their press release that Brown, who is black, claimed she could see other people in the distance walking on the beach, but they were white.
Brown said she started filming the officer with her cell phone as he approached her, WBBM reported.
“I’ll turn my camera on,” Officer Dyker told her in the video.
That was when the video showed Brown began yelling at the officer to keep back and “respect my space” because he didn’t have a mask on.
“Six feet!” she yelled. “You do not have a mask on!”
The video showed that Brown wasn’t wearing a mask, either.
The officer told her in the video that he didn’t need a mask because he was outside.
A cell phone video filmed by a city employee showed that Brown did not immediately follow the officer’s commands to leave the closed park and continued to turn back around to film him, rather than walk away, as he visibly shooed her out of the park with his arms.
Then she stopped, faced him, and started fooling with her phone, the video showed.
The conversation between the two cannot be heard on the video but it appeared the officer continued to order Brown to leave the park and she continued to ignore him and film him with her phone instead.
The video showed that Officer Dyker reached out to take the phone from Brown’s hand and chaos erupted.
Brown refused to relinquish her phone to the officer and the two began struggling.
During the altercation, Brown stepped out of her shoes and dropped a bag she was carrying, and eventually also dropped her phone to the pavement, the video showed.
As the two struggled, Brown’s small white dog repeatedly jumped on the officer and tried to get between the uniformed man and his owner.
The video showed the officer finally gained control of Brown and held her still for a moment as he talked to her.
Then he calmly released her and picked her phone up from the road and handed it to her, the video showed.
Brown picked up the other items she had dropped and stepped into her shoes, and walked away.
The cell phone video, which appeared to have been filmed by a bus driver parked nearby, ended as the officer returned to his patrol vehicle.
Brown’s attorneys said she returned home and called 911 after the incident, WMAQ reported.
Her lawyers have claimed that the officer was trying to tackle her and groped her body.
“He attempts to tackle her, all while groping her body as she screams for help,” the attorneys said in the press release. “This unprovoked attack lasts for approximately two minutes, during this time Ms. Brown’s phone is knocked from her hands and she is knocked out of her shoes.”
The lawyers called the encounter racially-motivated, WMAQ reported.
Michael Gallagher, an attorney for Brown, complained on June 8 about the FOP’s assertion that Officer Dyker hadn’t done anything wrong, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“The FOP President Catanzara’s claim that Officer Dyker was ‘just doing his job’ is just another example of him covering for rogue officers,” Gallagher said. “Based on his horrible record, Officer Dyker’s badge should have been taken away years ago.”
In his 24 years on the police force, Officer Dyker had received 25 complaints against him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
However, only three of the complaints were sustained.
The most serious of those was a domestic incident that occurred off-duty in Tennessee in 2008, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.