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Father of Man Tasered Alleges 'Cover-Up' by Police

By Erin Meyer | December 20, 2012 11:23am | Updated on December 20, 2012 11:27am
 Philip Coleman, 38, died after being Tasered by police last week.
Philip Coleman, 38, died after being Tasered by police last week.
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CHICAGO — A lawsuit filed by the father of a West Pullman man who died last week after being Tasered alleges that police wrongfully killed his son and then tried to "cover up" the truth. 

Percy Coleman claims police used excessive force against his son, Philip Coleman, by Tasering him multiple times when what he needed was treatment for mental health issues.

His lawsuit, filed in federal court Tuesday, alleges that officers were "fabricating stories" to family and friends of Coleman. According to Percy Coleman, officers indicated that his son was "okay" on Dec. 12 after his arrest when he had already been taken to Roseland Community Hospital.   

"[Police] began a cover up of what occurred," the lawsuit states.

Police arrested Philip Coleman on Dec. 12 when his mother called for assistance when the 38-year-old man attacked her in their Far South Side home.

Family members later said that Coleman was having an "emotional breakdown." Percy Coleman said he was able to calm his son in order to keep officers from shooting him.

But when police were taking Coleman to the Calumet District, he "became combative," and was Tasered, city officials said last week. Later, when officers transported Coleman to Roseland Hospital, he was Tasered again after being given a sedative.

Coleman died at the hospital. Cause of death and autopsy results have not yet been released by the Cook County Medical Examiner.

Cops referred questions about the suit to the city's law department, where a spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Neighbors and family said Coleman was acting out of character Wednesday night and appeared to be having a "nervous breakdown" in front of his parents' home in the 12800 block of South Morgan Street.

Percy Coleman, a former Chicago Housing Authority police chief, called a press conference Tuesday and laid blame on police.

"I will not stop until I get my justice for my son. I am in the process of getting into this legally," he said. "Philip was not an animal or a criminal, but a human being who was having mental breakdown."