Allegedly mentally ill man says he’s ‘proud’ to be cop killer — (Chicago Sun-Times)

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Chicago Sun-Times

Written By Rummana Hussain

Posted: 07/30/2015, 05:16pm

He started off in unintelligible mumbles and spoke in a tone so soft no one could hear.

At times, Bryant Brewer seemed confused and repeated questions his attorney asked him about the afternoon he claimed he shot Chicago Police Officer Thor Soderberg in self-defense.

But when the alleged cop killer was grilled Thursday about inconsistencies in his testimony and pressed about a possible beef he had with police, Brewer lashed out, hurling expletives and threatening to spit at a Cook County prosecutor.

On the witness stand, Brewer, who assistant public defenders maintain is mentally ill, also said he was “proud” of being a cop killer.

“F—— retarded ass—-” Brewer hissed at Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Sexton.

Brewer, 29, also repeatedly referred to Sexton as a “bitch ass n—–” on the fourth day of his bench trial.

When Sexton asked Brewer if he was proud to be a cop killer, Brewer exclaimed, “Hell, yeah. I’m proud. I’m proud because you want me to be proud.”

Earlier, Brewer told defense attorney Caroline Glennon that he grabbed Soderberg’s service revolver on the afternoon of July 7, 2010, only “because I was scared and I thought he was going to shoot me.”

Brewer said he was scaling a fence outside the former Englewood district police station to take a short cut to his next destination when Soderberg grabbed him and started pistol-whipping him.

“I got thrown down and that cop hit me with a gun,” Brewer said.

Brewer said the 9mm weapon eventually fell from Soderberg’s hand and the pair started fist-fighting.

When Soderberg, 43, reached for the gun, Brewer said, he pushed the officer away and grabbed hold of it.

Soon, the two were wrestling over the gun, Brewer said.

That’s when Brewer said the gun “went off” and a bullet struck Soderberg in his face.

Brewer said he then pulled the trigger twice and Soderberg fell between two cars.

Brewer, who testified that he has taken “all” recreational drugs and is currently on antidepressants, allegedly went on to open fire at a neighborhood resident and Chicago Police Officer Lynn Casey, who heard the shots, ran out of the building and asked him if he needed help.

“She asked, ‘Is you OK?’ ” Brewer said.

But when Sexton tried going over surveillance footage of Brewer and Casey, Brewer grew agitated and called Casey a “bitch.”

“I shot three times at the bitch, yeah,” said Brewer, who admitted he dropped the gun only when he was shot in the chest by another officer.

Brewer continually chastised Sexton, who, in opening arguments, said the alleged gunman was “looking for police” when he hopped the fence.

“He’s trying to make me look like I ain’t s—,” Brewer complained to Judge Timothy Joyce.

At one point, Brewer told Sexton that he is “cool” with police and in fact, is a cop, too.

When Sexton asked him about his illegal trade, Brewer shot back, “Yeah, I sell drugs. What do you do? You sell drugs too.”

Toward the end of his two-hour testimony, Brewer answered Sexton’s questions by whispering to the judge.

Soderberg’s widow, Jennifer Loudon, stepped outside the packed courtroom before Brewer was called to testify by defense attorneys.

“You’ve seen [Brewer’s] behavior during the trial, chair dancing, laughing, being in his own world,” assistant public defender William Wolf told reporters after court was adjourned Thursday.

“Now you’ve seen him testify, and know that he has mental problems, something that he’s probably had for most of his life.”