Former CPD officer charged with aggravated battery in 2021 confrontation with woman walking her dog at North Avenue Beach


CHICAGO (CBS) — A former Chicago police officer is facing felony charges, nearly a year after he was caught on video restraining and struggling with a Black woman as she was walking her dog on North Avenue Beach.

Bruce Dyker, who is White, resigned from the Chicago Police Department last month, before the department announced any disciplinary action against him for the confrontation.

But now Dyker has been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct. He is expected to be arraigned later this week.

In the videos of the August 2021 incident, Nikkita Brown is seen walking her dog at North Avenue Beach. It was a few minutes after midnight Saturday morning, and the beach was closed to the public.

Brown was approached by a Chicago police officer later identified as Dyker. She started recording their interaction – the recording begins with the officer saying something about her going to jail.

Brown asks the officer to keep his distance, because of COVID-19.

Brown: “Respect my space. It’s COVID. Six feet.”

Dyker: “I’m about to put handcuffs on you.”

The officer is heard saying he does not need a mask because he is outside.

What happens next is captured on cellphone video by two different people – one of them a city employee.

The officer starts to struggle with Brown – and at one point, he even takes her phone. Her dog is lifted into the air by his collar and leash.

“He knocks the phone out of her hand. He literally grabs her – and in such a way that he knocked her out of her shoes and her, you know – God bless her little dog for trying to protect her,” attorney Keenan Saulter, representing Brown, said last August.

Police sources said the officer was trying to place Brown into custody – she was trespassing at the beach after hours, no dogs are allowed, and the dog had relieved itself at the beach. These are all municipal code violations.

The sources said Brown swore at the officer, and then started recording.

“Even if she did use terse language with that officer, prior to anything we see on video, per the Chicago Police Department general orders, there is absolutely no cause – even if someone calls you a name or says a curse word to you – for you to grope or manhandle a woman, by herself,” Saulter said last August.

Records show Dyker had been on the force since Sept. 28, 1998, before he resigned.

He had at least 24 misconduct allegations against him, three of which were sustained and resulted in discipline. Two of them were for neglect of duty, and one was quite serious – involving an off-duty incident that occurred in Tennessee.

According to the Invisible Institute, it was alleged that Dyker displayed and pointed his weapon at a victim, failed to follow lawful orders by a police official, and verbally abused the victim. He was arrested on three counts of aggravated assault.

Dyker agreed to a 20-day suspension after the allegations against him were sustained by the Independent Police Review Authority – the predecessor organization to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

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