An article in today’s Chicago Sun-Times details a lawsuit filed in federal court alleging excessive force against a CPD commander who has been sued by civilians numerous times in the past. According to the complaint filed yesterday in the Northern District, Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans has been named a defendant in at least five other lawsuits alleging police misconduct. In addition, Evans has a long history of citizen complaints regarding allegations of excessive force and has been the subject of numerous investigations by the Office of Professional Standards (“OPS”). Still, in August of this past year, Evans was promoted by Chicago Police Superintendent McCarthy from lieutenant to commander of the 3rd District.
In this lawsuit, Rita King alleges that she was arrested and taken to the Auburn Gresham police station in 2011 following a domestic disturbance. After refusing to be fingerprinted, King claims Evans ordered the other officers present to restrain her. In the complaint, King states that “Evans proceeded to violently press his fist into [King's] nose for approximately 3 to 5 minutes saying, numerous times, that he was going to ‘push [her] nose through [her] brain”—causing King to bleed profusely.
The complaint brings a Monell claim alleging that Chicago has a widespread practice of failing to discipline its officers for the use of excessive force and that this de facto policy thereby encourages these officers to engage in further acts of misconduct without fear of any real consequence. It also alleges that the City has a well-settled, widespread “code of silence” whereby officers’ loyalty to one another and to the force prevents them from exposing acts of misconduct by other officers.
For the full story, see today’s article in the Chicago Sun-Times: Woman Claiming Excessive Force Sues City, Police Officer.
The Sun-Times article also mentions two other lawsuits filed against Evans that have since settled. In one, the plaintiff Rennie Simmons, a recovering stroke victim, claimed that in July 2006 he was on the job for the Chicago Water Department when he unknowingly approached the home of then-lieutenant Evans to deliver a notice for an overdue bill. Evans met him on the front porch and immediately attacked him. Rennie alleged Evans grabbed him by the throat and began choking him. Evans only relented after Rennie continually gasped “I can’t breathe! I’m a stroke patient!” Rennie called 911 from his car but was shocked that when the cops finally arrived, it was Rennie who was put in handcuffs and arrested—not Evans. Rennie was then informed of Evans’s status as a CPD lieutenant and that according to the arresting officers, Evans is never “off-duty.” For more on the Rennie Simmons story and settlement, see Millions Paid to Settle Police Misconduct Suits.
In the other lawsuit, the plaintiff, Cordell Simmons, was a college student with a history of marijuana-related arrests. In June of 2007, Cordell was approached at gunpoint by a pair of CPD officers who frisked him for drugs and then banged his head on the hood of the squad car before taking him to the police station. At the station, Cordell was met by Evans, who according to the police report, believed Cordell was “not cooperating.” As a result, Cordell was stripped of his pants and shoes and as three other officers held him down, Evans proceeded to taser Cordell in the groin. Cordell was then tased in the rectum and the right arm. For more on the Cordell Simmons story and settlement, see Abusing the Badge.