CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side man has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, and five Chicago police officers, accusing the officers of using excessive force when they shot him during a traffic stop two years ago, after he called 911.
The Independent Police Review Authority ruled the shooting of Antwon Golatte on Feb. 7, 2015, was unjustified, but his lawsuit accuses the city of dragging its feet on disciplining the officers until December 2016, nearly two years later.
The officers claimed Golatte tried to run them down after he was pulled over in the 300 block of West 115th Street, but the bullet holes in his car were all in the rear, and Golatte was acquitted of aggravated assault charges.
Golatte said he was out running errands at the time when police pulled him over. He claimed the trouble began when backup arrived, and he recognized them as officers who had stopped him two days earlier, dumped his pizza on the ground, and forced him to stand barefoot in the snow while they searched his car.
“Then when I see their faces, I knew who they was. Fear came automatically,” he said.
Golatte said he called 911, angering the officers, who began swearing and pointing their guns at him. He said he remained calm until one of them smashed the driver’s side window of his car.
According to his lawsuit, the officers then opened fire. Golatte said he still has bullet fragments in his body as a result of the shooting.
“I can’t work, can’t stand too long period of times. Walking too long is like it’s hard to breathe. The chest gets tight,” he said. “The pressure on my left lung ain’t that good at all. My ribcage, nerve damage, permanent.”
Three days after the shooting, the Chicago Police Department revised its use of force policy to prohibit officers from shooting at or into a moving vehicle if no other weapons are displayed.
The IPRA investigation concluded Golatte had been wounded once and recommended the officer who shot him be disciplined. Police officials say the officer has been relieved of his police powers and put on desk duty.