NORTH CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of a man who died of injuries suffered last month during his arrest by North Chicago police has filed a federal civil rights suit against the suburb and six of the officers involved in the arrest.
Darrin Hanna, 45, died on Nov. 13, a week after North Chicago officers allegedly beat him and subdued him repeatedly with a Taser during his arrest.
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The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges that when officers were summoned because of a domestic dispute, Hanna’s girlfriend was escorted by police from the building. It says that they then beat and shocked him for 20 minutes even though he did not offer any resistance.
He was brought out of the building unconscious, on a stretcher, with a sheet over his head.
The suit names the city of North Chicago and Officers Tristan Borzick, Gary Grayer, Marc Keske, Brandon Yost, Arthur Strong and Jayson Geryol.
“They beat him, Tased him to the point to where his mother couldn’t recognize him in his face and had to check his feet,” Hanna family attorney Kevin O’Connor said in a news conference after filing the suit at the Dirksen Federal Building.
O’Connor alleges that the pattern is one he has seen dating back to 2005, mostly involving officers on the department’s night shift.
Hanna’s mother, Gloria Carr, and son, DeLorean McKinney, 25, are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit.
Carr made it known last week that she intended to file the suit. O’Connor said that since then, family members have received at least three threats. He said it only made them more determined to go forward.
The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the case. O’Connor said it cannot release its findings until Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey determines the cause of death.
Yancey has already identified multiple trauma, including Taser markings.
Hanna’s family has been a constant presence at City Council meetings since his death, and O’Connor said that Carr intends to speak again next Monday.
She has called for murder charges against the officers, and wants Police Chief Mike Newsome fired. The city council voted 4-3 to suspend Newsome last week, but required five votes to make it stick. Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr. said Newsome would remain on the job.
O’Connor said that Newsome has attempted to discipline some of the officers in the past, but said that the suburb’s Fire and Police Board has either reduced sanctions or absolved the officers.
Newsome has placed the officers involved in Hanna’s arrest on desk duty, pending the outcome of the investigation.
City attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.