Protesters sue Chicago Police over ‘brutal, violent’ tactics

FILE - In this May 30, 2020 file photo, police officers guard the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, as they hold back protesters during a rally and march over the death of George Floyd. Activists who protested in Chicago over Floyd's death and the killing by police of other Blacks across the U.S. filed a lawsuit Thursday, Nov. 19 accusing city police officers of brutally attacking and falsely arresting them during the demonstrations. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune via AP, File)

By DON BABWIN Associated Press (11/19)

CHICAGO (AP) — Activists who protested in Chicago over George Floyd’s death and the killing by police of other Blacks across the U.S. filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing city police officers of brutally attacking and falsely arresting them during the demonstrations.

In a 205-page lawsuit filed in federal court, more than four dozen people say officers responded to lawful demonstrations “with brutal, violent, and unconstitutional tactics that are clearly intended to injure, silence, and intimidate Plaintiffs and other protesters.”

According to the lawsuit, police beat the protesters with batons, often striking them in the head; tackled and beat protesters while on the ground; used chemical agents against protesters; and trapped protesters in enclosed areas. The lawsuit says officers also destroyed or confiscated protesters’ belongings including glasses, cameras and backpacks.

It lists the city, Police Superintendent David Brown, and several named and dozens of unnamed officers as defendants.

The police department referred questions to Chicago’s law department whose spokeswoman, Kathleen Fieweger, said in a statement that the office has not yet been served with the lawsuit.

But, she said, “it is important to remember that these are allegations at this stage and not proof. We will review the complaint thoroughly, and each allegation it contains, once we have been served and respond through the courts as appropriate.”

Over the summer, Brown defended the actions of his officers who responded to what he called a “concerted effort” by crowds of protesters to provoke a violent confrontation with police. Video footage shows some in the crowd donned gas masks, changed clothes to hide their identities, and people who threw bottles and other projectiles at officers put up umbrellas to shield them from recognition, Brown said.

“From what I saw, they only took appropriate action when confronted with violence,” he said of the police response.

The department is under intense scrutiny for the actions of police during protests this spring and summer. Earlier this month, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), which investigates allegations of police misconduct, said it has received more than 500 civilian complaints related to protests. COPA has said 170 protest-related investigations are ongoing.

The plaintiffs are represented by the attorneys with Northwestern University’s law school Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and its Community Justice and Civil Rights Clinic, and others. The attorneys say the mistreatment of the protesters is part of a history of police brutality and abuse that dates back well over a century, including race riots in 1919 and the violent confrontations during protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

According to the lawsuit, police also used excessive force and made false arrests in March 2016 during protests outside an auditorium at the University of Illinois-Chicago where then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was scheduled to speak. His appearance was canceled due to security concerns.

“CPD’s response to the summer 2020 protests is consistent with the CPD’s longstanding policies and practices of using abusive tactics and excessive force against protesters.” the lawsuit says.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Posted in: Attacks on Police, Defund/Dismantle Police, Excessive Force, Lawsuits, Police, Policies & Practices, Protests/Civil Unrest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

sixteen + two =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.