Chicago woman Mia Wright says police officers smashed a car's windows and pulled her out of the vehicle at a mall Sunday—but the most terrifying part was when an officer, despite days of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, restrained her by kneeling on her neck. Her cousin, 39-year-old funeral parlor manager Tnika Tate, tells the Chicago Tribune that they parked at the Brickyard Mall, intending to buy birthday supplies, before realizing it was closed due to looting. Tate says before they could exit, officers surrounded the vehicle, smashed windows, and dragged out some of the occupants. "She never resisted," Tate says of Wright. "It could have been something deadly." The other occupants were a friend, Wright's mother, and another relative.
"I felt like an animal," Wright, 25, tells CBS Chicago. "They pulled me by my hair, dragged me out the vehicle, had my face down on the concrete. The officer had his knee in my neck. I just felt like an animal. I felt like I wasn’t nothing, like I was not even a human being at that moment." She was charged with disorderly conduct and held at a police station overnight after being taken to a clinic to remove glass from her eye. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she has seen video of the incident and, as with other allegations of police misconduct, it has been referred to investigators. Legal analyst Gil Soffer tells ABC7 that under Chicago police guidelines, kneeling on a suspect's neck is classified as deadly force, "and can only be used when there is imminent risk of great bodily harm or death." (Read more Chicago stories.)