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Amid Block Party Chaos, Police Punch Man in Face: VIDEO

By  Aishwarya Kumar and Paul Biasco | June 3, 2016 11:55am | Updated on June 3, 2016 12:00pm

 A Chicago Police officer can be seen punching a man while breaking up a block party in 2014.
A Chicago Police officer can be seen punching a man while breaking up a block party in 2014.
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CHICAGO — A video of a 2014 block party released Friday shows two people being shoved and pushed by police officers, with one partygoer being punched in the face. 

The two partygoers, Jeremiah Smith and Lisa Simmons, sued the Chicago Police Department in 2015, alleging they were brutalized at the party at 15th Street and Christiana Avenue in North Lawndale.

Simmons and Smith were on the West Side celebrating a recording contract with a large group, according to ABC7. 

Simmons' attorney, Rahsaan Gordon, told ABC7 the video shows Simmons being slammed onto the hood of a squad car and Smith being punched by an officer.

The officer, Brett Kahn, can be seen holding Simmons' hands and pushing her against a car before pulling her away into another police car. Simmons tried to pull away in vain. 

Kahn can be seen pulling out a baton while telling the crowd to get out of the street or else they are going to jail.

In the video, Kahn grabs Smith with his left hand during a struggle and punches him in the face with his right, knocking him to the ground with one punch.

The police incident report released as part of the IPRA data release states that Smith pulled away as officers attempted to arrest him and that Smith grabbed Kahn's hand.

The report states Smith attempted to throw a punch during the scuffle, and Kahn "in fear of receiving a battery" defended himself by using his baton.

The video does not clearly show whether Smith threw a punch or not.

The massive release of videos includes many open cases, some of which are the subjects of lawsuits. At a news conference Friday, IPRA boss Sharon Fairley stressed that videos do not paint a complete picture of what happened in each incident, and many lack context.

“It's really important for you to keep in mind that these materials may not convey all of the facts and considerations that are relevant [to an officer's conduct," she said.

The video and details in the case were part of a huge data release by IPRA on Friday, showing documents and videos in more than 100 Chicago police misconduct cases.

The release comes after Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appointed Police Accountability Task Force called on the Police Department to acknowledge racism and fight the "code of silence" that keeps officers from being held accountable.

That task force also called for videos to be released to the public within 60 to 90 days.

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