Three years ago, Chicago police Officer Craig Swistowicz was working on a task force, targeting drug traffickers alongside federal colleagues.
After he made an arrest, one suspect accused Swistowicz of beating him, and eventually a federal agent corroborated the report. The officer found himself charged with federal civil rights violations.
On Friday, a federal jury acquitted the 14-year veteran of wrongdoing.
Michael A. Ficaro, Swistowicz's attorney, credited the acquittal to testimony by a defense expert that challenged suspect Jose Parra's story that he was handcuffed when he was struck. Swistowicz took the stand in his defense, re-enacting the arrest for the jury during the eight-day trial.
Ficaro said that Parra was resisting arrest and that Swistowicz was trying to get him under control when he struck him. Parra had a gun in his waistband, Ficaro said.
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