Residents of Chicago, IL have heightened their awareness when interacting with police officers these days. Illinois criminal defense lawyers might agree that police brutality is a known issue mainly in Chicago but has become wide-spread throughout the U.S. According to the Chicago Tribune, for every five days, a Chicago police officer fired a gun at someone.” And over a six-year timespan, police officers have killed 92 people and wounded 170 others. As evident as police brutality may be, a story is now surfacing and hitting headlines across news source sites highlighting one officer from Springfield, Il who may have been on the receiving side of the abuse.
Officer Samuel Rosario was dispatched to a call just recently where he arrived on scene to investigate, and of course, do his job. The location he arrived at was a potential crime scene, and based on the video footage that was shared by ABC 7 News, also seen on the USAttorneys.com Facebook Page, a 19-year old is seen interfering with Officer Rosario’s attempt to check out the scene he was sent to. As you may already be aware, anyone who is guilty of interfering with evidence or distracting an officer from doing his/her job is considered to be obstructing justice. Although that wasn’t necessarily included in the report provided by ABC 7 News, it could be assumed the kid was out of line and potentially might be breaking the law simply by inhibiting the officer from working.
As Rosario was trying to gather information, the 19-year old was captured in the body-cam video footage interrupting him and making lude comments. The kid yelled racial and derogatory remarks including, “Go back to Mexico!” Rosario fired back at the kid saying things like “I ain’t from Mexico, you stupid [expletive]!” The two went back and forth before the situation became physical.
According to Rosario’s Illinois criminal defense attorney, his client reached his limit which caused him to react to the rude and unnecessary comments that were targeted toward Rosario. He is a “decorated veteran,” a husband, and a father. And like anyone else, he couldn’t stand being mistreated or verbally abused any longer. The body-cam video displays the two shuffling around and then going to the ground. Rosario then proceeded to hit the 19-year old several times. According the ABC 7 News, Rosario does have his regrets, but the overall issue was that the kid pushed the officer to his limits and as a human being, he couldn’t stand it any longer.
Officer Rosario, whose police powers have now been revoked, is on unpaid administrative leave until further review says otherwise. He currently is facing a possible charge of felony official misconduct that also places him eligible to be put on probation. The charge can carry a 5-year prison sentence as well. With the advice and help from his criminal defense lawyer in Illinois, Rosario has pleaded not guilty and is currently free on bond.
Whether the kid acted out of anger because of all the police brutality that has been occurring for years now or simply just felt as though he had the right to say what he wanted to an officer on duty, the case has yet to be settled and Rosario is due back in court May 1st.