CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — A federal jury has awarded nearly $54,000 in damages to a Chicago Cubs fan who sued a Chicago police officer for excessive force, for beating and kicking him during the 2016 World Series celebration outside Wrigley Field.
Court records show the jury on Wednesday found in favor of Asher Kaufman in his lawsuit against Lt. Andrew Dakuras, who was a sergeant at the time of the incident. The jury awarded Kaufman $53,700 in damages.READ MORE: Mayor Lori Lightfoot Backs Declaring Juneteenth An Official City Holiday Starting Next Year
The Chicago Tribune reports Dakuras has been sued at least six other times in federal court for misconduct, including claims of excessive force, and illegal searches and seizures. Settlements from those other cases totaled $278,000.
According to the Citizens Police Data Project, an online database of police misconduct files obtained by the Invisible Insitute, there have been 73 complaints registered against Dakuras, including 18 use of force complaints.
Dakuras and other undercover officers were working in the Wrigleyville area the night in November 2016 when the Cubs defeated Cleveland, prompting a massive celebration outside Wrigley Field.
During the trial Kaufman testified that he and his girlfriend had joined the celebration outside a tavern near Wrigley when another Sgt. Joseph Mirus Jr. grabbed him and confiscated a half-pint of whiskey he’d bought at a nearby convenience store.READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: How Much Will Your Monthly Check Be?
Kaufman said he thought Mirus was a bouncer at the bar and began to scuffle with him and Dakuras, both of whom were in plainclothes, before Dakuras grabbed Kaufman’s cellphone and ran off.
Kaufman said he chased Dakuras and had tackled him when several uniformed and plainclothes officers pounced on him.
He said Dakuras told him, “I love this part, free shots,” and grabbed him by the hair, punched him in the face and the side of his head, jumped on him and slammed his head into the pavement. Kaufman was arrested and taken by Dakuras to a hospital for treatment.
He was charged with resisting arrest battery and drinking in a public way. In 2017 a judge found him guilty of a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest but found him not guilty on the battery and drinking in the public way counts.
This week the same jury that ruled against Dakuras found that Mirus was not liable of the counts against him. The city’s law department in a statement said that it was pleased Mirus was not found liable and was “assessing its options” regarding Dakuras.MORE NEWS: Decision Delayed Again On Mental Health Treatment In Jail For Serial Stowaway Marilyn Hartman
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