NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) — Fifty people marched Saturday against police violence in suburban North Chicago, then staged a rally on the steps of its City Hall.
Attorney Kevin O’Connor told the crowd that while the community has a new police chief, and police Tasers have been taken away, not all is well. He accused Chief James Jackson of being lax in enforcing rules designed to minimize misconduct and physical violence by officers, and said Mayor Leon ‘Rockingham has not told officers to stay in line.
“The rules are not being enforced and they’re not cleaning house,” O’Connor said. “If you tell someone it’s okay, your actions are okay, we’ll even promote you for what you did, it’s not going to convince others that they have to conform their conduct to the appropriate rules.
O’Connor has filed close to a dozen lawsuits alleging excessive use of force and other misconduct by North Chicago officers. In the past week O’Connor has filed yet another suit, involving the October 2011 arrest of parolee Jarred McGill, whom he said police initially mistook for his brother.
“We have a situation where a man, who was minding his own business, is grabbed, beaten, knocked to the ground, tased, then charged with 15 (counts); they automatically revoked his parole and then all 15 charges were dropped and he was put back into jail,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor said that McGill served nearly a year in jail before being released.
The city’s attorney has refused comment. O’Connor said that McGill’s arrest occurred 11 days before the controversial fatal beating of Darrin Hanna by several of the same police officers.
The rally did not limit itself to problems in North Chicago. Lake County (Ill.) Coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd said he has had problems convincing State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim to reopen the investigations into several cases