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Muslim Woman Sues Chicago Police, Alleging Profiled CTA Attack

By  David Matthews and Tanveer Ali | August 11, 2016 5:16pm 

THE LOOP — A Muslim woman is suing Chicago Police, alleging a handful of officers assaulted her near a Downtown train platform last year after assuming she had a bomb. 

Itemid Al Matar, 32, was climbing the stairs of the State/Lake "L" station on July 4, 2015 when police officers tackled her from behind and ripped off her hijab. 

Al Matar alleges she was then taken to a nearby police station, where she was ordered to strip naked for an unlawful search.

"We’re hoping that this [lawsuit] is going to vindicate her, her constitutional rights," Al Matar's lawyer, Greg Kulis, said Thursday. "And bring awareness and consciousness to the Islamophobia that’s clearly out there."

The complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago says the officers, despite not finding a bomb or other unlawful act that night, proceeded to file "numerous" false charges against Al Matar including disorderly conduct, reckless conduct, and resisting a police officers. 

Kulis said his client was found not guilty of all charges in June, and her criminal trial was the reason why she waited more than a year to sue the police officers involved.

"They grabbed her based on what she looked like," Kulis said. "She was carrying a backpack and wearing a hijab."

Al Matar requested a jury trial, and the jury will determine any amount awarded, Kulis said. 

Surveillance video from the Chicago Transit Authority shows the alleged attack.

At least 38 complaints have been filed against the six officers named in the suit, according to the Invisible Institute's database of police complaints. Only one of those complaints was sustained: A use of force allegation against John Lucid resulted in a one-day suspension.

A Chicago police spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

Al Matar Complaint by Dave Matthews on Scribd

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