Chicago Cops Being Sued After Being Caught On Tape Physically And Verbally Abusing A Massage Parlor Employee
from the always-a-shame-when-the-'wrong'-evidence-surfaces dept
A Chicago woman is suing the city, along with ten police officers, for the abuse she was subjected to during a raid of the massage parlor she worked at. The entire interaction (which lasted more than 40 minutes) was caught on tape by the business' camera system.
Here's the beginning of the raid, which shows Chicago's finest interacting with Jianqing Klyzek using a combination of physical force and verbal abuse.
Here's the charming stuff Officer Di Pasquale had to say to Klyzek during their brief conversation.
Defendant DI PASQUALE: You're not fucking American! I'll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the fuck you came from!Note that this follows Officer Messina asking for permission to tase the 5'2" Klyzek "ten fucking times."
Plaintiff: I'm a citizen, OK?
Defendant DI PASQUALE: No you're not! No, you're not a citizen! No, you're not! No, you're not! You're here on our borrowed time. So mind your fucking business before I shut this whole fucking place down. And I'll take this place and then whoever owns it will fucking kill you because they don't care about you, OK? I'll take this building. You'll be dead and your family will be dead.
Also note -- especially those of you who claim bad cops are anomalies and not representative of the entire force -- that not a single officer (the plain-clothed men lined up against the counter impassively watching a small Asian woman being berated and manhandled by two "uniformed" cops) tried to dial back the aggression or suggested that some of things being said weren't appropriate or helpful. If anyone wants to know why there are so many bad cops, this is part of the problem -- the tacit approval offered by better cops who let this sort of thing happen without intervening.
Not only did these cops not try to defuse a situation that had gotten ridiculously out of hand, but they also assisted Di Pasquale and Messina in their search for the recording device in order to remove the evidence of their misconduct. Unfortunately for them, the device stored recordings off site. (Apparently, this fruitless search made up a large part of the 40-minute "raid.")
Since the officers couldn't find any evidence of prostitution (or human-sized shipping boxes), they fell back on weak claims that Klyzek assaulted an officer by "biting and scratching" as they attempted to restrain her. That failed as well when the judge threw the case out at a preliminary hearing.
But these officers weren't done failing. From the lawsuit:
On information and belief, sometime after the preliminary hearing, one or more of Defendant OFFICERS, contacted an Assistant State's Attorney in order to pursue a Grand Jury indictment for the offense of Aggravated Battery of a Police Officer against Plaintiff.Based on Officer Sako's (allegedly) false testimony, the grand jury indicted Klyzek for aggravated battery. This was swiftly reversed when her lawyer brought some actual evidence to the grand jury.
On January 13, 2014, after viewing the video recording of Plaintiff's arrest, the State's Attorney's Office dismissed the aggravated battery of a police officer charges against Plaintiff.Months later, the Chicago PD has yet to arrive at the same conclusion, despite being in possession of the same recorded evidence.
Police spokesman Adam Collins released a statement saying the matter is being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority and that "the alleged comments, if true, are reprehensible and completely intolerable in our police department.""If true." So, an officer's word is good enough to secure a grand jury indictment, but a recording -- containing both audio and video -- clearly depicting the chain of events detailed in the lawsuit -- is still up for discussion. If the IPRA ever gets around to using its eyes and ears, maybe it will finally be able to unload Officers Messina and Di Pasquale, something it should have done a half-decade ago.
A separate federal lawsuit alleged that DiPasquale and Messina were among a group of vice squad officers accused of abusing an immigrant during a 2008 prostitution sting. In the 2009 suit, DiPasquale was accused of sticking a gun in one man's face and slamming him into the dashboard of his car, breaking his nose.There's the other reason bad cops are prevalent. The legal system pays victims minimal amounts using taxpayers' money. And those costing the city money simply man a desk or get a few weeks off from work before being given back their badges, guns and, most importantly, power.
The man's attorney, Richard Dvorak, said Monday that the case was settled out of court for less than $100,000.