Police agency denies that Lovejoy Police Chief used chokehold on man

A man arrested last month, alleges that Lovejoy Police Chief Rick Webster placed him in a chokehold in the parking lot of the police station.

“If I can’t breathe, his arm around me. I’m getting choked. I know that.” said Rashawn Banks.

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Banks was meeting his fiancé, Ameeliah Nixon, at the police station on May 30.

She planned to file a complaint against an officer who had cited her for driving around a police blockade at a railroad crossing where a tractor-trailer rig was stuck on the tracks.

Body camera video provided by the police shows Nixon becoming extremely agitated.

“He asked me to pull out my I.D. and was overly aggressive and it caused me to get upset. I was frustrated. He was yelling, I was yelling,” said Nixon.

At the police station, Chief Webster and others saw the couple in the parking in what they said appeared to be a heated dispute.

They went out to investigate.

“He (Chief Webster) made contact with the young lady to see what was going on. The gentleman pushed the chief and the chief said don’t do that again. You do that again, you’re going to jail. And then he got in the chief’s face and when he pushed the chief, he was taken down to ground with a soft hand technique. It wasn’t a chokehold. He never put his hands around his neck to stop him from breathing or anything like that,” said Lovejoy Police Captain John Davis.

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Police say while restraining the individual, they used a “dry taser” in which the taser is held against a subject to subdue the person.

Banks said he suffered injuries and denied pushing the police chief. He was charged with obstruction and battery.

They are now seeking attorneys to file a civil action against the police department and chief.

“It was overly excessive force.” said Nixon.

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