Federal Lawsuit Under Way Against Chicago Police
CHICAGO — The mother of an unarmed South Side man shot and killed by police last month is demanding a trial by jury for officers involved in the incident.
The law firm of Sam Adam Jr. filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department. The suit names three officers, claiming they used used racial slurs to taunt community members after a man was shot by police on Dec. 15.
"This is one of, if not, the most important lawsuit in the city," Adam said at a news conference Tuesday as he called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy to respond to allegations of police misconduct.
"It was an execution out there," he later added.
Jamaal Moore, 23, was fatally shot by police after a high-speed chase resulted in a car crash at the corner of Ashland Avenue and Garfield Boulevard at about 11 a.m. on Dec. 15.
Police on the scene believed Moore to be armed, but no weapon was recovered from the scene. McCarthy has said Moore threw an officer to the ground "like a rag doll" before the shooting.
A near-riot later broke out when members of the Englewood community clashed with what Moore's mother called an all-white police force that used racial slurs to taunt the crowd.
"At some point during the commotion, when Mrs. Moore asked what was going on, one police officer said dryly, 'Just another n----r dead',” the federal filing reads. "That dead “n----r” happened to be Jamaal."
Officers Gorman, Muth and Norris are listed in the lawsuit by last name only.
The federal lawsuit alleges wrongful death, failure to intervene and excessive force on the part of Chicago police officers present at the scene.
Moore's teary-eyed mother, Gwendolyn Moore, gave a short list of reasons for the lawsuit, including the uncertain nature of her son's shooting and what she referred to as the disproportionate number of young black males shot on Chicago's streets.
In an interview last week, Moore said she hopes the lawsuit eventually will improve relations between residents and police in neighborhoods such as Englewood.
A review of the incident by the Independent Police Review Authority is currently pending.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for the independent organization said he expects the review to take months rather than weeks.
A Freedom of Information Act request from DNAinfo Chicago was returned by the Chicago Police Department redacted in its entirety.
The department's Legal Affairs office declined to comment on whether officers mentioned in the lawsuit have obtained legal representation at this time.