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Suit: Police Beat Man At Barbecue, Harass Witnesses

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday claiming that a Chicago Police officer attacked a man and then harassed witnesses because he did not want to be investigated by a police internal review group.

Donnell Hudson claims that while visiting with friends and barbecuing at a Roseland neighborhood home July 5, 2010, Chicago Police officer Rayco L. Lee grabbed him, searched his pockets and punched him, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court.

Lee also choked Hudson, pushed him against a fence, slammed him on the ground and kicked him, according to the suit. Lee then told Hudson to leave.

While Hudson was at a hospital receiving medical treatment, Lee and Chicago Police Sgt. Linda Szefc arrived, questioned Lee and threatened to arrest him, according to the suit.

Lee and Szefc returned to the home where the incident occurred and spoke to and intimidated witnesses, according to the suit.

Hudson reported the incident to the Independent Police Review Authority, the suit said.

The suit claims Lee and Szefc filed false statements with the same agency to cover up the incident. Since the incident, the officers have stopped, searched and threatened Hudson’s friends several times to ask if they were witnesses and check their cellphones for pictures, the suit said.

Lee was previously investigated by the IPRA and told witnesses that he did not want to be investigated again, the suit said.

The eight-count suit claims illegal search and seizure, excessive force, assault and battery. The suit seeks a jury trial, damages, attorney fees and court costs.

Jenny Hoyle, a spokesperson for the city’s law department, said she hadn’t received the suit and could not comment.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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