City Council Committee Backs $156K Settlement In Police Beating
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Aldermen are expected to give final approval later this week to a $156,000 settlement in the case of two brothers beaten by Chicago police officers when the young men were mistaken for a pair of robbers as they left the liquor store where they work.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the City Council Finance Committee voted on Monday to recommend the settlement in a lawsuit filed by Michael and Adrian Ayala. The brothers have said officers beat them as they were closing up the 7-9-11 Liquor Store at 4848 S. Archer Av. in August 2011, mistaking them for robbers even after Michael showed proof he was the store manager.
The full City Council is expected to vote on the settlement on Wednesday.
First Deputy Corporation Counsel Leslie Darling told aldermen the incident started when officers saw the brothers leaving the liquor store after it had closed, and assumed they’d robbed it.
“While both brothers were detained, and Michael was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle, Michael Ayala informed the officers that he worked at the store, produced keys to the store, and the phone number of the store owner,” she said.
Michael has said, after he and his brother closed the shop, he went back inside because he had forgotten his keys, but police mistook them for robbers. He claimed he explained that he could disarm and re-arm the ADT security system to prove he was the manager of the store and not a robber, but the officers were not interested.
The situation escalated when Michael yelled at the officers that he had videotape of the whole thing.
“I told one of the cops, ‘I got you on camera, and I’m not going to let this go,” he said.
Indeed, store security cameras captured what happened next.
“Seven to ten officers rushed toward the plaintiffs and used emergency takedowns to force Michael and Adrian to the floor inside the store. The evidence shows officers using open-hand strikes to the head, punches, and what appear to be kicks,” Darling said.
Michael claimed a police sergeant bashed his head against a store window, which was left cracked in a spider web pattern on the day after the incident.
He also has claimed he never did anything to provoke the beating.
“I never approached them to a point where I physically touched them,” he said. “I would never do that to an officer.”
After the beating, Michael said he and his brother were arrested and taken to jail. They were released without charges soon afterward.
The brothers had been seeking $300,000 in damages.