RIVER NORTH — A man who was beaten by an off-duty police officer after refusing to leave a Portillo's restaurant last year has sued the Police Department, alleging a "cover-up" of the attack.
Terrence Clarke of Canada was dining with his family at Portillo's, 100 W. Ontario St., the night the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2015 Stanley Cup when an off-duty police officer working security at the restaurant told them the Portillo's was closed.
Clarke, who was still eating and refused to leave, threw a cup of hot cheese at the officer, police said.
The officer, Khaled Shaar, then beat Clark, using "his handcuffs as 'brass knuckles'" as Clarke's family "watched in horror," according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.
Clarke is now suing the Police Department and Portillo's, alleging a conspiracy involving police officers and restaurant employees who made false statements, declined to investigate Shaar's role in the attack, and "maliciously" prosecuted Clarke with a false crime.
Prosecutors dropped felony aggravated battery charges against Clarke last year, but he was found guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, sentenced to six months of court supervision, and ordered to pay a $414 fine.
Footage of the attack was released in June as part of a massive data dump by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) showing documents and videos related to more than 100 Chicago police misconduct cases.
The police department said in a statement that it relieved Shaar of his police powers in light of the Portillo's incident, pending the outcome of IPRA's investigation. Shaar has been the subject of 13 police misconduct complaints since he joined the force in 1999, according to the Invisible Institute, a watchdog group.
"The Chicago Police Department takes any allegation of misconduct seriously and continues to actively work toward greater accountability and public trust," the department said in a statement.
A Portillo's spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
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