Over at Cato’s Police Misconduct website, we have identified the worst case for the month of September. This one goes to the Chicago Police Department, and, in particular, to the officers responsible for arresting George Roberts.
Here’s the background: CBS Chicago reports on a lawsuit filed by Roberts against the City of Chicago. According to Roberts, he was falsely arrested and roughed up by the police following a traffic stop. Roberts says the abuse of power began once the officers discovered that he worked for the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police misconduct. Mysteriously, several police cameras were shut down, contrary to department policy. Here is an excerpt from the news story:
Roberts said he was initially stopped for a minor traffic violation, but was then pushed in the back by one of the officers and forced to the ground. He said in the lawsuit that an officer shouted, “Don’t make me [expletive] shoot you.”
But “when the (officers) turned off the dash camera, things got worse,” his attorneys write in the lawsuit.
Roberts, who was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle, complained that the handcuffs were too tight, according to the lawsuit. The 6-foot-3, 315 pound man says that, instead, it would have have been appropriate for officers to use multiple handcuffs strung together for someone of his size.
He says in the lawsuit that one of the officers responded to his complaints: “What are you going to tell me next, you can’t breathe?” — an apparent reference to Eric Garner, a New York City man who died in 2014 as a result of a police choke hold.
Roberts also says he was told “that’s your fault,” when he pointed out that his weight made the single set of handcuffs painful.
Read the whole thing. Roberts was suspended from his job while criminal charges were pending, but after his acquittal, he was able to return to work. The Chicago Police Department had no comment on Roberts’ acquittal or his lawsuit.