CHICAGO (CN) – A man who spent 7 months in jail for charges that were dismissed says police pistol-whipped and pepper-sprayed him, poured dirty mop water over his head and offered him a drink of boric acid in retaliation for having “just beat the case.”
In his federal complaint, Laron Betts says officers beat him without justification or provocation while other officers watched. Betts says the cops asked him about a gun and drugs, threatened him with more jail time unless he “gave them something that would be useful,” said they hoped he would die, and continued to assault him when he said he knew nothing about guns or drugs. When he said he had beat his previous case, the officers replied, “We know that,” and kicked him, Betts says.
He says the cops damaged an eardrum and denied him medical care. After they brought him to the station, Betts says, other officers took him to a hospital.
Betts says he was not violating any laws, rules or ordinances before or during his battery. He says the officers had no probable cause or legal justification to forcefully subdue or injure him, and mistreated him not for violations but as punishment.
Their misconduct was “objectively unreasonable, with malice, and was undertaken intentionally with willful indifference to [his] constitutional rights,” he says, and caused him mental trauma, humiliation, fear, pain and suffering.
Betts sued 12 officers and the City of Chicago for excessive force, failure to intervene or provide medical care, battery and abuse of process. He seeks punitive damages and costs, and is represented by Basileios Foutris.