NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) –– One high-profile case alleging excessive use of force by North Chicago police is causing other people to come forward with similar accusations.
Since 2006 there have been 12 lawsuits against the suburb or its officers. As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, more could be on the way.
Darrin Hanna died after an encounter with North Chicago police in November. His mother says officers, responding to a domestic dispute, used a stun gun on her unarmed son and beat him.
Gloria Carr filed suit.
“By me continuing to fight … more people are telling me what happened to them,” she says.
People like Chris Harper. One night in October outside his workplace, he turned up his car music. He says an officer moved to tow it because of the loud volume.
Harper says he tried to talk the officer out of removing the vehicle. When the officer refused, Harper says he got his house keys from the car and walked away.
Surveillance video shows the officer use a stun gun on Harper. “That’s bogus man, he just kept doing it,” he says.
A city attorney has seen the police report and says before the use of force, Harper slapped down the officer’s hand.
Harper denies it.
“I never showed any aggression,” he said.
His case is under review, as is Paul Smith’s.
Video from the North Chicago booking room shows an officer roughing up Smith. The report explanation: Smith was verbally confrontational.
But did it warrant the response?
And Walter Wrather wonders: Could officers who sent a police dog after him have called the dog off sooner? He thinks so. Its jaws fractured his tibia and left deep puncture wounds.
“I think the whole department should be revamped,” Wrather says.
The police report says Wrather — who entered a guilty plea — led officers on a high-speed chase. It also says he ran from cops who ordered him to stop.
Wrather and Harper say they never filed citizen’s complaints. But North Chicago is investigating their cases.
The mayor is expected to speak with media Tuesday about how he’s handling excessive force accusations.