Chicago, IL -- Another disturbing video of another cop blowing a fuse has surfaced this week; this time the victim is a mentally ill patient who was restrained.
Officer Clauzell Gause, who is 6'6" and 235 pounds, was captured on surveillance footage from the Jackson Park Hospital brutally beating a patient who had his hands cuffed behind his back.
As the video begins, Gause is seen manhandling the defenseless man before throwing him into the wall. After the man bounces off the wall, Gause then pummels his face, knocking him to the bed. Then, for good measure, Gause nails the mental patient in the face two more times with his left hand.
This incident happened in June of 2014, yet it took nearly two years for prosecutors to charge Gause -- in spite of the video evidence showing him needlessly beating a handcuffed man. When asked by the Chicago Tribune why it took so long to charge Gause, Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said they had trouble finding the victim.
Apparently witnessing the officer maim a handcuffed individual on video isn't enough to charge him. The victim, who's medical records documented multiple lacerations and swelling of his forehead from the beating, had to be found by the Independent Police Review Authority before Gause could be charged.
Not only was he not charged immediately after the assault, but he didn't face any discipline from his department other than being placed on desk duty. Gause alleged that the victim, while getting his blood pressure taken, stood up and punched him. However, that is not captured on video.
"The Chicago Police Department has zero tolerance for misconduct or any activity which undermines the integrity of our officers and our efforts to rebuild public trust," Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman for the Police Department said in a statement.
Apparently 'zero tolerance' means desk duty.
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In federal court on Tuesday, the officer's blue privilege continued to prevail as the judge released him on his own recognizance, but not before refusing to allow the prosecutor to play the video and stating that no matter what, Gause would not see a single day in jail.
"I don't think locking you up is going to serve any purpose. … I don't think you are a danger to anybody," Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. said.
"You and I and those like us who chose a life of public service, we're held to a higher standard," the judge said in ordering the officer released. "That's the long and short of it. Whatever happened, happened. … You have to face the consequences."
According to the judge, being held to a 'higher standard' means granting special treatment to depraved individuals who assault incapacitated mentally ill hospital patients.
The judge's assertion that Gause would not be a danger to anyone is entirely unfounded as well.
According to the city records, obtained by the Tribune, Gause amassed at least 11 complaints from November 2006 to June 2014, including one related to the Jackson Park incident. City records obtained by the Tribune show that three days after the incident a complaint was filed against the officer with IPRA.
Court records also show that Gause was one of 11 Chicago police officers named in a federal excessive-force lawsuit stemming from the December 2013 arrest of a man outside a White Castle restaurant at 103rd Street and Michigan Avenue.
Jerome James alleged in his lawsuit that two of the officers were in the restaurant's drive-thru when they were flagged down by a security officer who had seen James throwing a bottle of beer in the trash. James was arrested and taken to the Calumet District lockup, where he "exchanged words" with one of the officers, prompting a vicious assault, according to the suit.
In spite of one other cop witnessing the assault on the handcuffed patient and not stepping in, no other charges were filed.