A police commander in Chicago is set to go on trial for the tactics he used on a suspect.
Commander Glenn Evans, who was assigned to clean up a violent West Side Chicago neighborhood, is going on trial for allegedly shoving his gun in a suspect’s mouth.
Commander Evans was successful in reducing gun-related violence in the neighborhood. Since he was assigned to the West Side neighborhood, there were 80 fewer shootings than the previous year. It was the second largest drop in the city.
However, his tactics have been called into question, especially after the gun-in-mouth incident.
According to ABC News, Evans drove up to a man he said was armed with a gun and got out of his car. When the suspect ran into an abandoned house, Evans followed.
Evans allegedly shoved his gun into the man’s mouth while pressing a Taser to his groin. He threatened to kill the suspect if he didn’t tell him where the gun was, but no gun was found.
In the 20-year period ending in 2008, Evans had at least 45 excessive-force complaints. He has also been named in at least three pending federal lawsuits.
Despite the complaints filed against him and the charges he currently faces, residents and fellow officers have rallied behind him.
“I have no crime on my corner, and that is simply because of the way he helped me,” said Josephine Wade, owner of Josephine’s Cooking restaurant on the South Side. “He walked up to these dope boys and told them they had to leave.”
Officers describe him as a colleague who was dedicated to his job and kept working hours after his shift ended.
Ed Praznowski, a retired sergeant, recalled getting into a car crash. While he was dazed, a man tried to wrest his gun away.
“Glenn came up behind him and put a gun to his head and tells him if he doesn’t take his hand off my gun he’s going to kill him,” Praznowski recalled. “I have no doubt that Glenn Evans saved my life.”
Evans declined repeated requests to discuss his career and the charges against him with The Associated Press.