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South Side Pastor Files Excessive Force Suit Against City, Cops

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A South Side pastor is suing the city and four police officers, claiming they unlawfully detained him and used a racial slur against him at the scene of a shooting this February in the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood.

Andre Smith filed the excessive force suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Chicago against the city, a police sergeant and three unnamed officers.

Smith claims the confrontation happened near 64th Street and King Drive on Feb. 16, near the scene of a shooting.

Smith is a pastor at First Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and a community activist in the South Side Woodlawn neighborhood, according to the suit. Another community activist first called and told him about the shooting that night.

He claims he and other neighbors were talking across the street from the parking lot where the shooting happened when a Chicago Police sergeant told the crowd to “get the f— off the corner,” according to the suit.

When he began to walk across King Drive, the sergeant allegedly yelled “n—– you think I’m playing, I’ll lock your a– up” and ordered another officer to handcuff Smith when he kept walking, the suit claims.

Smith claims the officers dragged him to a squad car and searched his belongings before letting him go about 40 minutes later, the suit claims. He alleges he was injured when police twisted his arms behind his back to handcuff him, and was left humiliated by the incident.

The ten-count suit claims excessive force, unreasonable seizure, false arrest, racial profiling, assault and battery and conspiracy, among other charges. It seeks an unspecified amount in compensatory and punitive damages.

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday night.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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