A swarm of police officers are seen on cellphone video drawing their batons and beating out the windows of a car outside a Chicago mall Sunday, reports CBS Chicago. The officers dragged two women from the car. One of them says an officer held her down by putting his knee on her neck and back.
George Floyd died in Minneapolis last week after an officer put his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes. That encounter was also seen on video and set off protests nationwide.
The Chicago video was captured by someone in another vehicle at the scene.
It happened at the Brickyard Mall, during the height of looting amid unrest in Chicago in the wake of Floyd's death.
The car pulled into the parking lot before its occupants realized things were closed.
But before they could exit, they were stopped by officers who say they thought the people in the car had been among the looters.
"They just start bamming and hitting at my car, then they busted out three windows," said Tnika Tate. "I feared for my life."
Police surrounded the car. Tate, her cousin Mia Wright, and others were inside. Tate and Wright are both black.
The video shows officers storming the car, breaking windows and pulling Tate and Wright out. Tate and Wright say it was for no reason at all.
But what they say bothers them more than anything is that when Wright was yanked from the car, one officer heled her down by putting his knee on her back and neck.
"They approached my car so forcefully where they just started bamming and hitting at my car, then they busted out three windows of mine, and then they actually tore off my door handle – the passenger side door handle – and they literally drug my little cousin Mia out to the ground," Tate said.
"I felt like an animal," Wright said. "They pulled me by my hair, dragged me out the vehicle, had my face down on the concrete. The officer had his knee in my neck. I just felt like an animal. I felt like I wasn't nothing, like I was not even a human being at that moment."
Wright was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has launched an investigation.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, "I have seen the video, and we are doing what we normally do is when we see potential allegations of police misconduct, it gets referred to COPA for immediate investigation."
Officers confiscated the car, but it was later released. It had severe damage.
Tate and Wright insisted they were never given an explanation – or an apology.
Wright says she got some glass in her eye but her emotional scars outweigh the physical pain.