CHICAGO (CN) - Six men say that 20 Chicago cops assaulted, Tasered and Maced them in a private home, with a helicopter hovering overhead, because the men had shouted that "the kids were OK" as cops patted down a group of 10- and 11-year-old kids on the street.
The men demand $12 million in damages from Officers Donald Hummons and Fred Barroso and Sgt. Joseph Keeter, who they say led the police gang to the home.
The men say they were "peacefully enjoying the evening" on April 17, 2009 on the porch of the home of the mother of three of the plaintiffs. In their federal complaint, the men say they saw Hummons and Barroso detain a group of 10-to-11-year-olds at a nearby intersection and subject them to a pat-down.
Two men yelled to the police, from approximately six doors down, "that the kids were 'OK' and that they were from the neighborhood and not cause for trouble," according to the complaint.
Other residents in the area told the officers that the kids were "not troublemakers or gang members," the plaintiffs say.
The police released the kids, then drove slowly past the six plaintiffs, "staring at the plaintiffs as they passed."
About 15 minutes later, 20 to 25 officers, led by Keeter, "stormed the private property," armed with "assault rifles, Taser guns, Mace and a helicopter overhead," but without a warrant, the men say.
The men say the officers arrested them on "various offenses," and Keeter shot them with a Taser. They were "Maced as well," though none of them resisted, the men say.
The men say they had had no close contact with the officers before the assault, and had no weapons on them.
They say they suffered "shame, humiliation and loss of reputation among family members and neighbors of being so publicly arrested and accused of crimes which they did not commit."
They say four plaintiffs were found not guilty, and charges against the other two were dismissed.
Each man demands $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from Hummons, Barroso and Keeter, alleging constitutional violations, false arrest and malicious prosecution.
They are represented by Phillip Bartolementi.
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