CHICAGO, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A jury has directed the City of Chicago to pay $1.16 million to a man injured when Chicago Police raided a car wash in the Austin neighborhood in search of illegal drugs. The 12-person jury deliberated for less than five hours before announcing its decision at the Circuit Court of Cook County.
A routine car wash visit turned into a life-changing event for Trevor Mitchell when a gang enforcement unit burst into Old School Car Wash, according to civil rights attorney Basileios "Bill" Foutris, who represented Mitchell in Trevor Mitchell v. City of Chicago. The plaintiff was alone in the waiting room when 15 officers converged on the business. According to the lawsuit, Mitchell heard a commotion and thought a robbery was underway. Mitchell was grabbed from behind by a female officer, said Foutris, and thrown to the ground. Mitchell's hip was fractured and dislocated, resulting in chronic pain and limited mobility that has necessitated surgery.
The complaint alleged that Chicago Police engaged in willful and wanton conduct during the raid. Additional claims included civil battery, false arrest, and invasion of privacy. According to Foutris, Mitchell was handcuffed and held for an hour. He was searched and questioned repeatedly. The plaintiff, who is approximately 5'6" and weighs 120 pounds, was 62 at the time of the raid. Mitchell testified that he complained to officers that he was injured, but they neither offered nor summoned medical assistance. No illegal drugs were found and no arrests were made during the February 2011 raid.
"Trevor Mitchell was a law-abiding citizen in the midst of a terrifying situation," said Foutris. "Rather than ensuring his safety, Chicago Police treated him as a criminal. They violated the rights of an innocent man and caused lasting physical harm. This verdict is a reminder to law enforcement that every Chicagoan, no matter what neighborhood they're in, has civil rights that must be respected," said Foutris after the jury's decision last week.
Foutris is a civil rights attorney and creator of smartphone app Fi-Vo Film, an app designed to protect video evidence from being destroyed by police by uploading video in real-time as it is recorded.
SOURCE Foutris Law Office