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Local News

Ex-Joliet police officer charged with civil rights violation, punched woman 20 times in 2012

CHICAGO — A federal grand jury in Chicago has indicted a former Joliet police officer for using unreasonable force against a woman while on duty four years ago, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Thomas O'Connor, 40, of Joliet, is charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law. O’Connor is alleged to have used unreasonable force Feb. 9, 2012 while on duty as an officer of the Joliet Police Department. The victim suffered bodily injury as a result, the indictment states.

O'Connor was charged in Will County court with aggravated battery after the 2012 incident, in which he punched Shantique Jackson, 46, more than 20 times while attempting to arrest her in the parking lot of the Star Inn, 2219 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, according to Herald-News archives.

O'Connor was fired from the police department after the incident. A jury found him not guilty in June 2013.

Jackson was arrested on charges of domestic battery and resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped, Herald-News archives state.

The indictment of O'Connor was returned Tuesday in federal court in Chicago, according to the news release. Judge Charles P. Kocoras scheduled arraignment for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20.

The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Michael J. Anderson, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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