Incident Breakdown: Chicago Cop Justifiably Kicked Shaquille O’Neal’s Head

I’ll get this out of the way now. The officer in this video is a hero. The officer hasn’t been publicly identified yet, but there is already an outcry of hatred directed at him.

Let’s start with the video and break it down from there:

The scene opens with Officer 1 on the ground, attempting to arrest an aggressively resisting drug dealer, Shaquille O’Neal. You may not see O’Neal throw any punches, but his level of resistance is considered aggressive because he’s not just trying to get away, he’s grabbing at Officer 1, attempting to control his actions. When a suspect attempts to physically control an officer, and the officer fails to quickly gain control of the suspect, suspects will usually escalate to a full on attack against the officer. To make things worse, there’s a crowd of hostile bystanders who may decide to jump in and help O’Neal any time. If any of the bystanders decided to get physically involved, Officer 1 would be fighting multiple suspects while he’s on the ground; he would be in clear mortal danger.

Officer 2 arrived and quickly assessed the situation. As the second arriving officer on scene Officer 2 is the cover officer and he has two jobs:

1. Protect Officer 1 by keeping all bystanders from getting close and becoming involved.

2. Ensure that Officer 1 doesn’t lose the fight.

While you might expect Officer 2 to immediately jump on top of O’Neal and help wrestle him into custody, that would have left both officers vulnerable to getting attacked by any bystanders. Officer 2 made the right decision by staying on his feet so that he could control the bystanders.

Shortly after the arrival of Officer 2, you can hear Officer 1 tell O’Neal not to bite him, which is a good indicator that the fight is escalating and O’Neal is attempting to harm Officer 1.

Officer 2 continued to do his first job of keeping the bystanders back. Then something suddenly changes and Officer 2 kicks O’Neal in the head. This is what has the nation crying out, “Police Brutality!” They ask, how could Officer 2 ever justify kicking O’Neal in the head while he’s on the ground? It’s simple, Officer 2 was performing his second job: Ensure that Officer 1 doesn’t lose the fight.

Shaquille O'Neal Attacks Chicago Cop

Shaquille O’Neal chokes officer immediately before getting kicked

What you may have missed in the quick action of the video was that Officer 2 looked over to see Officer 1 getting choked by O’Neal. This was not just momentary, and Officer 1 was unable to quickly break away. O’Neal clearly had a strong hold on Officer 1’s throat. Officer 1 wouldn’t only have trouble breathing in that situation, he was in immediate danger of being killed by having his throat crushed. O’Neal’s hold would also cut of bloodflow from the brain, which would have rendered Officer 1 unconscious in a few seconds.

Let’s examine the options available to Officer 2. Less-lethal equipment would not have been appropriate in this situation, and we won’t cover those options because these officers clearly weren’t in possession of less-lethal equipment.

Legally, the use deadly force by a police officer is governed by case law (Tennesee v Garner.) Police officers are legally justified in using deadly force to stop a person who is posing an immediate danger of serious physical injury to any person. Based off of the clear evidence in the video, O’Neal was posing an immediate danger to the life of Officer 1. Officer 2 would have been legally justified in putting a gun to O’Neal’s head and pulling the trigger.

Something that is rarely considered is that law enforcement officers don’t want to kill people. Even though Officer 2 would have been legally justified in taking O’Neal’s life, Officer 2 clearly demonstrated a strong desire to not only save his partner’s life, but save O’Neal from having to be killed.

Officer 2 needed to immediately stop the threat that O’Neal was posing to Officer 1. Shooting O’Neal would have been both effective and legally justified, and almost certain to result in O’Neal’s death. Kicking O’Neal in the head may have legally be considered lethal force, but was unlikely to actually result in the death of O’Neal, while still effectively stopping him. Officer 2 delivered a well-placed kick to O’Neal’s head, which rendered O’Neal unconscious, saving both his life and the life of Officer 1.

Hero Cop

Hero Officer

O’Neal reportedly had no lasting injury from the kick besides a bruise. He had several bags of heroin on him when he was arrested.

Fox32Chicago Reports:

“I don’t know what happened after they said he kicked me, I just woke up in the hospital, that’s it,” O’Neal said.

But O’Neal said he’s okay now.

“I am all right, I’m all right, I’m all right, they didn’t do too much to me,” O’Neal said.

A female relative with him chimed in, “He good, he good, They ain’t hurt him, they ain’t break a real man.”

Ironically, Black Lives Matter is holding this up as an example of police misconduct. Even though O’Neal was a black drug dealer who tried to kill a cop, Officer 2 decided that O’Neal’s life mattered, and his quick thinking prevented O’Neal’s death.

The fallout of this incident is going about as you would expect in today’s anti-police climate. O’Neal was taken to the hospital and then released from police custody two days later without any charges, despite the fact that he tried to kill a police officer and was in possession of controlled substances. O’Neal took this as vindication, he did nothing wrong and would likely sue Chicago Police Department. Later on, when the facts were reviewed, and it was obvious what had happened, charges against O’Neal were re-filed and he was arrested.

Officer 2 was stripped of his law enforcement powers and placed on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation. Thousands of angry people are calling for Officer 2 to be fired and prosecuted for his heroic actions.

Don’t just stand by and let this hero get thrown to the wolves. Share this story with everybody on social media and counter the false narrative being spread about his officer.

You can contact Chicago Police Department’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) here, and let them know that you support our hero’s actions:


  • Lee

    Good job. He did what he was suppose to do.

    • Deborah

      Of course I support the officer as a HERO! Because O’Neal could play basket ball does that put his thug arse above the law?????? NO!!!

      • Not a Dumbass

        Seriously…. You really think that is retired NBA legend Shaq??? He must be the ONLY person in the whole fucking planet with the name Shaquille O’neal…. Lol. Perhaps you shouldn’t say stupid shit if you have no clue what your talking about…. Smh

        • John

          ROFLMAO!!! Oh man! I can’t stop laughing!

    • AMEN,,,he sure did,,,,these thugs want to fight with the cops,,they get whats coming to them,,,this shit pisses me off,,,they think its cool to fight a Cop & tape it so they can bitch about abuse,sorry he brought it on himself

    • Mimi

      U are a asshole just because they took a picture of a clip that shows him resisting doesn’t mean he is fully at fault. Once he stop moving dat police officers was suppose to back off

      • Anonymous

        Really? And who made those rules? He’s a criminal that was resisting arrest, they are trained NOT to back off. First, learn how to speak English, second, quit making up rules for criminals.

  • Jim C

    Restraining a combative subject can be a nightmare. Adding in a hostile crowd with unknown motives raises the risks to unimaginable levels. These officers should be commended for maintaining their cool and using the minimum amount of force necessary to maintain control of the situation. No one was seriously injured and everyone got to go home to their families. For the record, I retired after 30 years in corrections and have had more than my share of these situations. My hat’s off to the officers here. Job well done!

    • Alan Travers

      I don’t think that is the basketball player.

  • Jim crow

    He should’ve just used is taser.

    • In the article it says
      “Let’s examine the options available to Officer 2. Less-lethal equipment would not have been appropriate in this situation, and we won’t cover those options because these officers clearly weren’t in possession of less-lethal equipment.”
      So neither officer had a taser to use.

  • roaemary gardner

    OFFICER #2, YOU are a bona fide HERO. Let the STUPIDS think what they will: which is stupidity BECAUSE they ARE STUPID & have no regard nor any interest in the truth!!!

  • Tina Kowalski

    Officer 2 should be commended for a job well done. He clearly would have been justified to use much more force than he did during this dangerous situation.

    • WTF

      Oh, you mean like you, huh? Let them do that to your son, and see what your raspy ass says. You would be suing. But then, YOUR son would NEVER (eyeroll).

      That was a cowardly thing to do, and that gutless bastard knew it. And the cops, of course, can claim what ever in the hell they want to, and it is a matter of record that they have done exactly that, historically.

  • Peter Bandi

    The only problem I saw, that officer #2 should of kicked the guy right away, as soon as he arrived, to take away any chances from the drug dealer to get an upper hand.

  • James

    The bystanders caused the man to be kicked. They made a dangerous arrest more dangerous. The 2nd officer had to control the crowd.

  • Jim

    I support 100% what this officer did with a punk who was obviously resisting arrest and a hostile group surrounding them. If I were an officer…I wouldn’t even go into those areas. Let them all kill themselves…because they have all become cop baiters since Obama took office. You could see they were trying to bait the cops with their video…and Liberals writers will jump all over the anti-cop sentiment.

  • James Thompson

    Doubt is resolved in the officer’s favor, and officer’s are not required by the constitution to use the least amount of force available, they are required to use “reasonable force”, which will probably makes this use of force reasonable. However, to say that lethal force is justified in this case is asinine and irresponsible.

  • lisa

    I think the officer made a good call. He saved both lives involved and shouldn’t be reprimanded at all.



  • Donald Duck

    Small problem when i look at the photograph….. excellent job or should i say worst job of photoshop i have ever laid my eyes on… the victim’s fist was closed when attempting to shove the officers head away from him, as his hand did not close around his throat during the video as i slowed the original video down and frame by framed it…. the only frame i see that has severe blurring and line delineation is on the photograph printed on this page, you can clearly see the smudging start on the officers chin(right side of officer’s perspective left side our perspective) and see the entire sphere of smudging around where the officers throat is and where they are claiming the victim is grabbing the officers throat supposedly…. you can also see the way it has been recolored within the sphere to look like the victims hand is further to the left than it actually is, which would put the forearm in an impossible angle after the junction of the elbow closer to the hand…. so either the guys hand was generating mist, and the cop broke his arm in one frame and the rest of the frames appear to be normal, or this is the worst job of photoshopping i have ever laid eyes upon, great job pigs!!!

  • Dot

    It’s always easy to judge others actions when you’re not there making a split second decision involving three lives. Cops want to go home safely to their family. If you’ve never been in a situation such as this, you should not be so opinionated.

  • bob

    Under a high pressure situation I can understand making a judgement that your partner’s life was in danger. This was clearly a hostile area and a hostile suspect. What I do wonder is why was the kick directed to the suspects head when a safer choice might have been to kick the arm or stomp the shoulder.

  • WTF

    Justifiably my ass. You copsuckers, as usual, call it what you want-but let that faggot try that where i live, or in any one on one with any real man. Straight up abuse, is what that is, and your lying asses can call it what you want. I suppose ith would have been kosher to run his head over with the squad car too, right? This is exactly why you pigs need a leash.

  • James Michael

    Don’t even get my honorable 2 decade veteran self going…
    If I witnessed that sworn servant do that aggravated assault and battery.
    I would have arrested him and hoped he refused to come peacefully…..
    AND exactly what was the cause of action with standing, for kidnapping this man?
    I’ll guarantee you, it was not lawful….
    Traitor thug animals….

  • Cille Shaner

    Retired NBA player Shaquille O’Neal is a Reserve Police Officer in South Florida. NOT a drug dealer. He’s also bald which this jerk isn’t. I applaud the Officers restraint in a potentially deadly situation.

  • Gordon

    Hard to tell from the video, exactly what the suspect was doing to the first officer. That said:
    1) I have 3 decades in the law enforcement field.
    2) Yes, I have had a deranged, cop hating, certified mental case choke me in the line of duty.
    3) I’ve been a martial arts practitioner for much longer than I was a cop.
    4) Without being there, any opinion I voice would be bullshit!

    I will disagree with one point made by the writer.
    Any kick to the head can be harmful or fatal, even one “well placed.” This is one of the reasons head gear was instituted in Tae Kwon Do tournaments decades ago. Head kicks can cause bleeds, concussions, and other forms of trauma. In this case, both the officer and the suspect were lucky!

    Even assuming that his partners life were indeed in jeopardy and could be proveen, had this gone badly the officer could have been looking at a very rough ride through the civil litigation system.
    As we all know, our courts haven’t had the best understanding of the lawful use or force, nor has their record on common sense been the best.

    If the officer cannot validate his “kick training” as a valid technique, he’s likely on his own. Seen it happen and it’s not pretty.

    Just the same, do you do whatever is necessary to save a partner? Absolutely!

    • Officer Blue

      We agree that any kick in the head can be very harmful or fatal, and all involved are lucky that the injury was not more severe. However, with the understanding that lethal force would have been legally justified, a kick to the head is less likely to be lethal than a bullet to the head. This officer made the decision to use an effective option that was less likely to cause death than other lethal options.

  • Karen Bartlett

    I sent the email to the Chicago FOIA and shared this post. Good job, Officers!

  • Miss C.

    I’m one of your so-called “liberals” – and I don’t even see why this is an issue. The thug was resisting arrest – the officer was WAY more patient with him than I would have been. Yes, there are videos out there where it seems like cops start beating the shit out of someone for seemingly no reason. This isn’t one of them.

    I always think if I were a cop and had to deal with the dregs of humanity every day, I’d rarely give anyone the benefit of the doubt, and in some neighborhoods, yes I’d be ready to shoot first, ask questions later. But again, here, the officers were totally justified in doing what they had to do to shut this asshole down. As a friend’s mom used to say, if they were sitting in church like they had been told, this wouldn’t have happened. No sympathy here for criminals.

  • ed

    End the Drug War.

  • Robert

    All this anti police is your Muslim President using blacks to riot, protest and create violence so he can declare martial law, and hold up the Election in Nov.. And the do nothing Congress will let him get away with it.

    • Du

      You are the worst time of American, a ridiculous conspiracy theorist with tin foil on your head. A Muslim for a president is better than that fucking twat Bush, and any other nut.

    • Karen Nichols

      Their Muslim president won’t do that. He has his stupid, lying Hillary to try and win by all illegal ways possible so he can control her the next 4 years!

  • Susan

    This police officer is awful. He has a long history of violence & is a liability to the department. He has multiple domestics against him with different people also has several incidents open against him at work. He did not take proper steps to secure the situation, not surprising since his history shows he’s done it before. Could he have held the suspect down instead of bashing his head in? Yes. Why did he come out of the police car violently? He should have helped the officer trying to cuff him and be done. No one deserves to be stomped in the head, that’s brutality. Here is his incident record, which conveniently has reports “missing”.
    Do not support a repeat violent offender, including beating WOMEN.

    • Matt

      Looks like he’s just doing his job and the dirt bags are trying anything to do anything to slow him down. If you watch this video and side with the criminal you might be a dirt bag yourself.

  • Peggy Petit

    They need to start bringing little paddy wagons to arrest the first & last one that threatenes to “kill that mother fucker”. Hell I drove for a living, I’d drive for free.Unbelievable how animalistic these poor excuses of human being they are. Again it starts at home & ends in the streets if you’re a thug.

  • Tim

    Being a Libertarian, I don’t believe in drug prohibition and I argue that the fact that these officers were enforcing a bad law (prohibition) strips them of any hero status.

    Now, before I get accused of being a “criminal” or a “drug addict”, I’m neither. I’m a Veteran, a law abiding citizen and currently a public servant. I just happen to believe that for adults, drug possession and use should be decriminalized and people should not be arrested and jailed for the non-violent offense of possession and recreational use of drugs

    • Jody

      It’s not a matter of what you feel people should be arrested for. It’s a matter of law. I don’t think it says what the man was being arrested for when they found the drugs anyway.

    • Karen Nichols

      It doesn’t make a damn what you think the law should be, it is what it is! Until and if the law changes, everyone has to abide by what it is today. I’m not a public servant. I just have common sense!

  • Jody

    Are there crooked cops? Yes! Do police officers make mistakes? Yes! Did either of these two officers do anything wrong in this video? Absolutely not. That was a very combative situation and it was resolved as quickly and without death as possible.

  • Steve

    We need the mayor and the Police commander to step down now. Putting Officer#2 on desk duty shows they donot have the Officers of the Chicago PD Back. This is ridiculous its on tape. For all the Chicago PD I would demand the commander to Resign or start coming down with that summer flu bug that’s going around

    • Karen Nichols

      Did you all not read the entire breakdown of the video? It answers any questions you have. Read it! Makes perfect sense to me!

  • Guy Man Dude

    I’m a civilian. I understand the police have their perspective and rules of engagement of sorts. I read the article and the steps of justification. But… Yes, I’m saying but. But isn’t it time we develop other ways to subdue? And honestly… I’m not for or against anyone here. I just happened on this article via FB. Stomping on the guys head? Sure it’s justified, but that manner of doing it seemed like he enjoyed it or something. It just didn’t come off like “I need to do my job to save a fellow officer” it comes off like a thug. No I don’t have the answers, and I hate saying anything that crosses the police because I want to believe they are there to serve me should I need it. But frankly, I’ve called the police in the past when my ex-wife attacked me. They took me off instead without ’cause’. I proved it in court later and even won a custody case after that. But that bonehead decision by one police officer that day had years of repercussions I should not have had to deal with. Heck… I even recall the day after I was taken from my home when I returned to get clothing. The escorting officer whispered to me, “We always take the man.” It’s these types of YEARS of programming into police that give the public pause in trust. In the end, I have friends that are police and I am not anti-police. I’m just bothered. I’m bothered that in this modern day we don’t have some other means beyond tasers, that can subdue a suspect. I suppose I’ll get corrected and accused of being bias etc… I understand. But if you are police officer reading this, I hope you understand people want to believe in you, if you come to learn you are not at your best in pressure situations, then find another job. Don’t be a mistake waiting to happen.

  • Truth

    I feel sorry for Police Officers today. Every where you look, they are being treated like the criminals that they are trying so hard to get off our streets. Perfect example in this video, the officer is fighting potentially for his life, and no one is helping. Why? Because many have been raised to hate the Police. Not a matter of not trusting them like these groups try to claim. Ironically, all the people in the video are yelling and screaming at these officers who are trying to arrest a drug dealer. Makes you wonder, any one in those groups on on lookers too afraid to say anything on behalf of the officer? These neighborhoods have a code, stick to our own. This is the problem, not the Police. Not a sermon, just a thought.

  • Matt

    Comment sections always amuse me. You have the anti-cop criminal sympathizers who are blind to their own personal biases, the LE crowed who wear their bias like a badge of honor, and spammers trying to trick into clicking on malware links. What you don’t get are comments from most of the Americans who are too busy working and enjoying life to give a crap about people who can’t follow the rules. Thing is the LE crowd essential is the reason the majority of Americans don’t need to worry about this stuff. LE deals with the social miscreants while everyone else enjoys their freedoms.

  • Karen

    Why didn’t officer #2 , seeing officer #1 on the ground obviously having trouble subduing the suspect, immediately help the other officer cuff the perp? Instead he stands there yelling at the crowd &I then kicks him in the head! Get a clue! Help him subdue the guy &I then take care of the crowd!

    • Nardo Nardalis

      He didn’t jump in, but was protecting the other officers back from the pack of feral mutants circling them, got that now?

  • Jessica

    Officer 1 and Officer 2, did everything that is asked of them as officers of the law. They would die for anyone of the people commenting here that O’Neil is the victim here or saying ignorant things about Police in general. You may think there was another way to have handled this, and your right, lots of different scenarios could have happened, probably resulting in a serious injury or maybe even death. This was an incident that ended ok for everyone. One less drug dealer on the street, and two officers get to go home to their families and then wake up the next day to risk thier lives for a complete stranger. Thier families know this is something that being an officer of the law has to promise to do. If you don’t have gratitude for any and all Police officers, fine, but the least you can do is keep it to yourself and hope that when a police officer saves your cousin or brother, you can grateful you didn’t spread such hatred.

  • Marcos989

    “Officer 2 kicks O’Neal in the head”
    Correction: Officer 2 intentionally stomps on O’Neals head hard enough to cause him to immediately lose consciousness..
    See what happens to the story when you tell the truth?
    Taxpayers, enjoy your lawsuit.

    • Karen Nichols

      There will be no lawsuit. O’Neal doesn’t have a case and he knows it!

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  • Billy Bob

    butz da homie dint dun nuffins

  • awarrior

    Please understand the objective of the commentary. They’re creating the narrative they want you to accept by looking at it their way. This is the kind of crap they use in court to try and justify their actions. The second officer escalated rather than de escalate. The stomp to the head was totally unnecessary and this is the BS they use to try and explain it away. If the guy dies, same explanation ‘it was justified.’ Once again consider the source: Blue Lives Matter.

  • Jerry Adams

    That mother fucken white nigga ain’t no damn hero. He’s a damn coward and a fuckin zero. I don’t know you how you White Niggas going to take this, and actually I really don’t a fuck. But what y’all White Niggas going to do when the table is turned and the young Black men on the Southside of Chicago come across the track for target practice. Black people are getting sick and tired of how you White Niggas Cops are treating the Black Man. You are damn straight Black Lives Matters is 100% right. And then most of you mutherfuckerd commenting are pictureless. What’s the matter you are ashamed to show your evil ass faces? Damn Cowards.

    • Nardo Nardalis

      Shut up you knuckle dragger, there is a fresh stalk of bananas in your cage Cheetah, return there and peel them with your feet!

      • Jerry Adams

        Look who’s talking you ugly ass baboon. You don’t have room to call anyone at a knuckle dragger damn white nagga ass bitch. By the way, I have a some shit for your ugly orangatang fat ass face bitch. Oh and thanks for the compliment. I happen to love bananas and so do a lot of other people and animals. Like orangutangs and baboons like yourself b****