The Round Lake Beach Police Department has hired a private firm to investigate after an officer was caught on video punching a woman three times in the face after she bit him.
Police officials said Friday that Illinois-based company Prescient, which is a risk management and intelligence services firm, has been hired to conduct the investigation.
The officer involved in the August 22 incident, which was recorded on video, has been placed on administrative leave.
“Prescient will have full and complete access to the department and any information they require. RLB PD will do everything within the law to cooperate fully with their process,” officials said in a statement.
Round Lake Beach police said they will have no input into the results of the review or any aspect of the firm’s investigation.
The incident happened when the Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District and Round Lake Beach Police Department responded around 6:30 p.m. August 22 to the Lakefront Park in Round Lake Beach for a call of a woman experiencing a mental health crisis.
A video taken and sent to Lake and McHenry County Scanner shows a woman strapped down to an ambulance stretcher surrounded by several paramedics and police officers.
The video shows a police officer strike the woman three times in the face. The woman recording the video can be heard saying, “They just punched her in the face.”
The woman recording the video then confronts the officers. The officer who struck the woman can be heard saying that the woman on the stretcher bit him.
“The video is shocking to see, and the Round Lake Beach Police Department is committed to ensuring that an external review of the incident takes place,” police officials said in a statement following the incident.
Both the woman on the stretcher and the officer received treatment at area hospitals.
“While striking a person who is actively biting an officer is within policy, the video is disturbing. To ensure that all officers followed proper policies and procedures, the Round Lake Beach Police Department will look to have an external evaluation of the incident,” officials said in their original statement.