State police to probe Joliet mayor’s scuffle with protester

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Police will conduct an investigation after video posted online shows the mayor of Joliet, Illinois, forcibly grab a protester during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd.

The video posted on YouTube Monday shows Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, a former police officer, grab a man by his collar and forcibly walk him toward a police car. It was not clear from the video what sparked the confrontation.

Seconds later, another man runs up to O’Dekirk from behind, causing all three of them to tumble to the ground as they are quickly surrounded by several police officers.

Both men were taken into custody.

In a statement released Tuesday, O’Dekirk said he was acting in self-defense when he was “confronted by a rioter then attacked.” He said he used “standard police tactics to immobilize the attacker by separating him from the crowd and walking him backwards toward police officers.”

Will County State Attorney Jame Glasgow said he will be requesting an investigation by an independent third party “to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and ensure a completely transparent process.”

“No final charging decision can be made until a full and independent investigation is completed,” Glasgow said in a statement.

O’Dekirk sustained some bruises but otherwise was unharmed.

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