CHICAGO (CN) - Chicago police shot a store owner 11 times after armed gunmen robbed him, then handcuffed him to his hospital bed and harassed him to cover up their "gross misconduct," the businessman claims in court.
Bassil Abdelal sued Chicago and two Officer Does in Federal Court, for excessive force, false imprisonment, assault and battery, wanton conduct, conspiracy, civil rights violations and negligence.
"The City of Chicago followed its 'code of silence' to protect and cover up the gross misconduct of Officer Doe 1 and Officer Doe 2 who fired eleven bullets into plaintiff, who was unarmed, did not aim any gun at the police, did not fire at the police, and posed no threat to the police," Abdelal says in the complaint.
Abdelal owns B&B Beauty Supply, on the West Side of Chicago.
He was closing for the night at about 8:30 on March 14, 2012, when "a man knocked at the door and wanted to make a purchase," the complaint states.
It continues: "The plaintiff tried to hand him the merchandise he wanted without letting him inside, but the man ran away. Plaintiff believes that it was a set up for plaintiff just to unlock the door.
"Shortly thereafter, the man that ran away came back with a mask on his face along with two other masked men, who stormed in the store. Two of the three masked robbers pointed guns at plaintiff and then they put a gun to his head and his father-in-law's head to try to knock them down and coerce them into doing what the robbers wanted."
The robbers forced Abdelal to open the register, which contained only $160.
"The robbers were upset as they expected much more than that," the complaint states. "They started screaming 'give more money or you be dead.' Plaintiff told them that the money was at the back of the store in the washroom. Before the robbers went to get the money from the washroom one of the robber's cell phones rang. They answered and they were informed that the police were coming, based on belief, by a getaway driver, as apparently somebody called from the nearby Green line CTA station.
"The robbers got scared and panicked, running in the store with a lot of anger. The plaintiff was very afraid that the robbers would shoot plaintiff and Aruri [his father-in-law] at any time because the robbers were angry that their plan did not work as planned. The robbers ran away when they heard police arrive and plaintiff saw one of the robbers drop their guns inside the store. The plaintiff stepped out of the door to see where the robbers were going so he could report it to the police.
"The plaintiff saw a gun at the front of the door outside. The plaintiff picked it up for protection until the police arrived because he was terrified that the robbers would return and come back for him from the side or anywhere. The plaintiff was standing right by the front door with the door open, half of his body inside and the other half outside. The plaintiff saw the police arriving in the parking lot outside the store. Feel[ing] relieved that the police were present for protection, he immediately threw the gun down to the ground and did not point it at anyone.