Arizona; Phoenix — Officer Nicholas Jovanovich is facing dismissal for striking an activist during a protest in July 2020, which led to her tooth being knocked out and violent clashes between police and protesters who attempted to bring down the Grant Park statue of Christopher Columbus.
In a video of the incident Jovanovich appears to have hit Miracle Boyd in the face when things began to escalate. At least one tooth was knocked out of her mouth during the incident, which drew national attention.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) completed its investigation into the incident last June and sent its findings and recommendations to Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, who had 60 days to respond.
Officers Jovanovich and another blocked Boyd's path as she tried to record officers taking another protester into custody, COPA said at the time in an official statement issued at the time. Boyd's cellphone was knocked out of her hand by Jovanovich, who then extended his left arm and "caused the phone to hit her face."
Brown resisted COPA's recommendation to fire Jovanovich for breaking a slew of departmental rules and instead proposed suspending him for one year. When it was determined that Jovanovich used excessive force, Brown only agreed with the finding that he was in violation of department policy.
Nanette Doorley, a member of the Chicago Police Board, made the decision for a disciplinary process that could lead to Jovanovich's dismissal from the Chicago Police Department has now been initiated.
Additional charges against Jovanovich include blocking Boyd from recording a public encounter and taking her phone and failing to properly inventory it, according to Doorley's findings.
According to the ruling, he is also accused of making "false, misleading, inaccurate, and/or incomplete statements" in a police report. He also said Boyd was swinging an "unknown object" when she approached officers from behind and that he believed she "was going to batter the arresting officers or attempt a defeat of the arrest."
This incident was also not reported by Officer Andres Valle, the ruling states. Doorley agreed with Brown's request for a 30-day suspension instead of the 60 days recommended by COPA.
According to the Invisible Institute, Jovanovich has received at least 22 use-of-force complaints since he joined the police force in 2005.
An Englewood teen was allegedly assaulted by Jovanovich in 2009, according to South Side Weekly. Teen claimed that Jovanovich hit him in the arm with a baton repeatedly while another officer grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against the wall.
According to South Side Weekly, the officers' conduct was cleared by the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency COPA replaced.