UPDATED 03/22/11 5:46 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Two University of Chicago scholars say they were beaten by Chicago cops. They called 911, made a complaint, yet the officers were never charged.
Now, they have a new audio and video tape that they say helps prove what happened. CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.
It’s been one year since Matthew Clark and Gregory Malandrucco first told CBS 2 they were beaten by Chicago Police officers in a restaurant parking lot and showed the videotape of the incident.
On Monday, the men and their attorneys played new video from a wider angle and – also for the first time — the 911 call from that night when Clark dialed for help. They say it contains audio from a plainclothes officer who stopped the call by hitting Clark.
“This image is just seared into my mind — seeing this individual, this fist flying and into Matt’s face,” Malandrucco says.
They were so badly beaten and ended up in the hospital.
Clark has a University of Chicago Ph.D. Malandrucco is close to getting his doctorate.
They say the attack was unprovoked, and came after Malandrucco, while trying to put on his coat, accidently bumped one of the officers as they prepared to leave after eating at Arturo’s Tacos, 2001 N. Western Ave.
When they got to the parking lot, Clark said the officers attacked them both.
The officers were allegedly waiting for them in the parking lot, and began to yell at the men in an aggressive manner, the men’s lawsuit filed last year claims. The two men attempted to calm the officers down by trying “to shake hands, make peace and suggesting that everyone go home since nothing had happened,” the suit said.
It was at that time that the male officer “without warning” punched Clark and began to strike him repeatedly, throwing him to the ground, the suit said.
The plainclothes officers then held Clark down and “brutally beat him until he lost consciousness,” according to the suit.
When Malandrucco attempted to stop the beating, according to the suit, the officers “responded by beating (him). (They) threw Mr. Malandrucco to the ground, hitting his head against the concrete and knocking him unconscious.”
Clark said uniformed officers arrived after he called 911.
The suit says that at least three uniformed police officers arrived on the scene in marked squad cars. At one point, one of the uniformed officers “switched places with the plainclothes officer who was on top of Mr. Malandrucco, holding him down and striking him in the process,” according to the suit.
Another one of the uniformed officers allegedly kicked or kneed Malandrucco, the suit said.
Clark was “bleeding profusely from the wounds on his head” and Malandrucco “was also bleeding from the wounds on his face,” the suit said.
Though they “begged” the uniformed officers to help, the officers allegedly accompanied the plainclothes officers to their car and told Malandrucco and Clark to “go home and forget the incident ever happened,” the suit said.
Now nearly a year later, the men are frustrated because they say the city will not reveal identities of the officers.
“It’s kind of shocking to think these individuals who would initiate this incredible unprovoked act on us would then be allowed to walk free,” Malandrucco said.
The city has not commented because the case is in litigation. The men have filed suit and have set up a toll-free hotline to seek information: (800) 621-3908.
Clark and Malandrucco say they never saw a badge and their attackers weren’t wearing bullet proof vests. But they say a woman with them identified them as cops.