CHICAGO (CN) – A Chicago cop shook down a motorist for $5,000 after ticketing him for driving without a seat belt, the man claims in court.
Jermaine Jordon sued Chicago and its police Officers H. Rodriguez and A.E. Ohlson, in Federal Court.
Jordon claims Rodriguez solicited, and took, a $5,000 bribe to “help him” with his traffic ticket, which was bogus in itself.
Jordon claims the defendant officers pulled him over on Sept. 13, 2011, without cause.
“During the traffic stop, Mr. Jordon asked the defendant officers if he could remove his seat belt. Defendant Rodriguez gave Mr. Jordon permission to remove his seatbelt and then charged Mr. Jordon with driving without a seatbelt. The defendant officers later learned that Mr. Jordon was driving on an expired license and arrested Mr. Jordon. Mr. Jordon was released on bond,” he says in the lawsuit.
Jordon says he acquired a valid driver’s license in January 2012.
In September 2012, Jordon claims, Rodriguez pulled him over again, in the same part of town.
“At that time, defendant Officer Rodriguez told Mr. Jordon he would ‘help him’ with his case in exchange for $5,000.00. Officer Rodriguez then gave Mr. Jordon his cell phone number and released Mr. Jordon without further charges,” the complaint states.
It continues: “Mr. Jordon notified the Internal Affairs Division of the Chicago Police Department who orchestrated a controlled exchange of the bribe money. While undercover detectives watched and listened, Defendant Rodriquez accepted $5,000.00 in marked bills that were passed to him by Mr. Jordon in a Dunkin’ Donuts bag. Defendant Rodriguez was arrested and charged with bribery and official misconduct.”
Jordon seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, unlawful seizure and malicious prosecution.
He is represented by Jon Erickson with Erickson & Oppenheimer, who did not respond to a request for comments.
The Chicago Tribune reported in September 2012 that Rodriguez was suspended without pay after the bribe sting.
The newspaper reported that Rodriguez pulled over Jordon’s Bentley for a seat belt violation, found he was carrying $7,000 in cash, that his license had been revoked in 2003 for a reckless homicide conviction, and that he had two previous arrests for driving without a license. Jordon faced up to 15 years in prison for driving on the revoked license, the Tribune reported.
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