Chicago Police Fiasco |Over a Broken Key

     CHICAGO (CN) – An off-duty Chicago cop threatened to shoot a neighbor who was locked out of his home, then falsely accused him of threatening him with an “AIDS needle,” the neighbor claims in court.
     Thirty-six-year-old James Barron sued Chicago and its police Officer Jonathan Moy on Wednesday in Federal Court.
     It all started when Barron’s key broke off in the lock at his home in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood in June 2014. Avondale is a gentrifying neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side.
     “For approximately five minutes Barron attempted to get his broken key out of his lock. He was unsuccessful,” Barron says in the complaint.
     Barron’s roommate was out of town, and a neighbor who had a key didn’t answer a call. Barron climbed onto a Dumpster to try to get to his garage roof and then down to his back patio, but decided it was too dangerous.
     A neighbor was helping him try to get the broken key from the lock when Officer Moy approached them. Officer Moy lived two houses down.
     “Officer Moy used profanity and aggressively told Barron that he needed to stay off the garage roof,” Barron says in the complaint. “Barron responded by explaining to Officer Moy that Barron was locked out of his apartment and that the roof he had attempted to climb upon was his own property. Officer Moy responded with profanity and told him to stay off the roof and that he had called the police.”
     Moy left, but a Chicago police car soon arrived. When Barron explained the situation, he says, the unknown officer in the squad car said, “Cool,” and drove away.
     Then Barron tried to get in through his garage roof again.
     The moment he did so, “(H)e heard a voice screaming in his direction and telling him to ‘Get on the fucking ground,'” Barron says.
     He says he say Moy standing on the back porch of two houses away, “pointing a handgun at him.”
     “Officer Moy then shouted several times that he was ‘Chicago Police.’ He told Barron that he was under arrest and further informed him that if he did not get on the ground, Officer Moy was going to shoot him,” Barron says in the complaint.
     So Barron lay on his own roof at gunpoint for 15 minutes, terrified for his life, he says. When more police arrived, Moy told them, falsely, that Barron had trespassed on Moy’s back porch, according to the lawsuit.
     “Officer Moy then told the responding officers that Barron started screaming and banging on Officer Moy’s back door. Officer Moy then told the responding officers that Barron had threatened him with an AIDS needle. None of this was true,” Barron says.
     Barron was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
     He was found not guilty on all charges at a May trial in which a neighbor testified that she saw the entire incident and corroborated Barron’s story, the complaint states.
     Barron seeks damages for excessive force, false arrest, and malicious prosecution.
     He is represented by Paul Geiger in Northfield.

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