Reverend Catherine Brown and her two small children were on their way home when a speeding Chicago Police squad car with no emergency lights rammed into her car.
Dash cam video captured at the scene recorded the brutal encounter with Chicago Police as they dragged Rev. Brown out of the car and pepper sprayed her. One of the officers involved in the violent incident was seen smiling in the direction of the police dash camera as Rev. Brown was being brutally assaulted, all while her children watched in horror.
Amazingly, the incident resulted in Brown being charged with attempted murder for the 2013 encounter. After waiting for two and a half years to go to trial, Rev. Brown was found not guilty of the charge, but the officers involved in her beating remained on the job.
Rev. Brown spoke with Roland Martin about her brutally violent encounter and the impact of the assault during Thursday’s edition of NewsOne Now.
Though the incident took place three years ago, the dash cam video is just seeing the light of day. Brown has decided to sue the Chicago Police Department, telling Martin, “The moment it happened to me, I was ready to get on every newscast and speak the truth of what happened on that night to me and my children.”
During the legal proceedings, officers allegedly lied about their conduct: “The officers had the nerve to lie on my eight-year-old child — they said that my eight-year-old child fought the officers.”
“She was in second grade, she was so scared, she was screaming uncontrollably,” said Brown. “For me to hear that Officer [Jose] Lopez and Officer [Michelle] Murphy would lie in such a way was devastating to me and my child.”
Rev. Brown’s children have attended counseling as a result of witnessing the assault on their mother, but her oldest child is still dealing with the trauma and is afraid of police. Brown told Martin, “She is still suffering, she is still under therapy and I just trust God that one day she will be able to trust the police again.”
In a separate unrelated incident, Rev. Brown’s daughter was riding in a car with a family friend who was pulled over, causing the child to “scream at the top of her lungs because she was so afraid.” Brown said, “My daughter cried and screamed so hard and so loud that the officer said, ‘Well, just go home, ma’am.’”
Visibly shaken, Rev. Brown explained she is starting an initiative called “The Justice Movement.” Adding, “Justice has to be had in this case and many others.”
Prior to the encounter with police officers, Brown said she was an advocate for the police. “I was the liaison between the community and the 6th District Police,” she said. “I loved the police before this happened.”
Brown also explained she would encourage young men in the community: “If you act decent, then they’ll treat you decently, if you act like an animal, they’ll treat you like an animal.”
Rev. Brown said, “Here I am coming home from buying Pampers and I’m acting decent and getting treated like an animal.”
Watch Roland Martin and Rev. Catherine Brown discuss her violent encounter with Chicago police officers in the video clip above. Then watch the second part of their interview in the clip below.
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