CHICAGO (CN) – An Illinois man claims his life was ruined by Chicago police when officers, despite having no evidence he was guilty, charged him with a felony while he was a high school student with a full-ride scholarship to Cal-Berkeley.
John Adam Jones of Chicago, now 20, says in a complaint filed Friday in Chicago federal court that he was arrested at 18 for an aggravated robbery that he had nothing to do with.
The time he spent in jail awaiting the dismissal of his charges cost him his high school diploma and a full-ride scholarship to attend the University of California, Berkeley, according to the lawsuit.
“Though his charges were ultimately dismissed, plaintiff will never regain the time he lost while he was in custody, get to live his final year of high school that he missed, or the large amount of funds that were expended and lost used to regain his liberty,” Jones’ complaint says.
Chicago police arrested Jones and two friends outside his parents’ home in May 2015, saying their clothes matched the description given by the victims of an armed robbery.
Although no gun or stolen items were recovered from his home and the victims had not identified his face, Jones says officers got approval from a prosecutor’s office to charge him with a felony by not disclosing their lack of evidence.
“Throughout the duration of the case, plaintiff maintained his innocence,” he says.
Jones was expelled from the Little Black Pearl High School in Chicago because he missed six months of school while in the Cook County Jail, and he also lost his scholarship, the lawsuit states.
He was able to post bond in November 2015, at which point he was placed on electronic monitoring. The charges against him were dismissed completely in August 2016.
Despite the dismissal of charges, Jones says he “will spend the rest of his life trying to recover and live a normal life.”
“Defendant officers’ misdeeds have ruined plaintiff’s young life,” the complaint states. “Defendant officers caused plaintiff to be removed from his family, spend time in Cook County Jail with violent and dangerous offenders, pay attorney fees, pay bond, be expelled during his senior year in high school, and miss the opportunity of a lifetime losing his full scholarship to University of California-Berkley.”
Jones, represented by attorney Shay T. Allen of Flossmoor, Ill., is suing the city and the police officers involved in his case for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and other civil rights violations.
Chicago’s legal department told Courthouse News it had not been served with the lawsuit yet and therefore cannot comment on it.