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Streamwood Cop In Hot Water Over Videotaped Beating

By Staff in News on Apr 15, 2010 9:40PM

2010_04_15_cop.jpg While the argument over in-car cameras for Chicago police officers is an ongoing issue, a beating captured on a dashboard cam has landed a Streamwood police officer in hot water. Officer James Mandarino has been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct for the March 28 incident in which he struck motorist Ronald Bell 15 times with his baton. The incident began when Officer Mandarino began following Bell after hearing "squealing tires." The Sun-Times describes what happens next in the video:

When the driver parked in his driveway and got out of his car, Mandarino got out of his vehicle and pointed to the driver with his weapon drawn, Vroustouris said.

The victim is seen getting back into the car and sits there for about 90 seconds. During this time, Mandarino, a nearly 16-year Streamwood police veteran, approached the 38-year-old passenger and tasered him twice, [Cook County State’s Attorney Anita] Alvarez said.

At this point, the driver gets out of the car with his hands in the air. Mandarino then points to the ground and after the driver gets down on his knees with his hand behind his head, Mandarino pulls the man’s upper body forward, forcing the victim’s hands to the ground, [ Assistant State’s Attorney Alexander] Vroustouris said.

Though there's no audio available on the video, Vroustouris said, "At no time during the time period when the defendant is beating the victim with his baton does the video reflect that the victim had anything in his hands, nor does the video reflect the victim making any threatening motions toward the defendant. The victim is completely compliant." Mandarino's attorney, Ed Wanderling, disagreed, telling the Tribune, "The facts I'm aware of paint a completely different picture." Mandarino is free on $50,000 bond and has been on paid leave pending disciplinary action.