Two Women Sue Chicagoloand Police | Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Two Women Sue Chicagoloand Police

CHICAGO (CN) - In separate federal complaints, a wheelchair-bound woman claims city police falsely arrested her, and a second woman claims North Chicago cops shot her dog, Mama, for no reason at all.

In one complaint, Rachel Siler and Fionnuala Cook sued Chicago, police Sgt. Thompson and police Officer Sommerfield, first names unknown.

In the complaint involving the dog, Shammara Evans sued North Chicago and its police Officer Ramtin Sabet

In the first complaint, Siler and Cook say they were en route to an Occupy Chicago meeting downtown in November 2011. Siler is disabled and uses a motorized wheelchair; Cook was on a bicycle.

The complaint states: "Defendant Thompson, driving an official Chicago Police Department vehicle, without warning or cause, pulled in front of Ms. Siler, cutting off her forward movement and trapping her between his vehicle and a parked car, forcing her to maneuver farther out into the street around his vehicle.

"Defendant Thompson verbally abused Ms. Siler, yelling at her to get on the sidewalk and falsely claiming that wheelchairs were not allowed in the street."

The women say the officer continued to follow them, and "at approximately the intersection of Clark Street and Van Buren, defendant Thompson exited his vehicle. He aggressively and belligerently approached Ms. Siler, screaming at her again that wheelchairs were not allowed in the street and demanding her identification.

"Before Ms. Siler was able to produce her identification, Defendant Thompson grabbed toward her thigh area, ripped Ms. Siler's earphones out of her ears and knocking her purse from the arm of her wheelchair."

They claim that "Thompson then handcuffed Ms. Cook and painfully threw her into the back of a police vehicle with great force. ...

"After almost an hour, defendant Sommerfield, in a verbally abusive manner, had Ms. Siler sign a citation for obstruction of traffic and provided her with a copy.

"Ms. Cook was finally removed from the police vehicle and uncuffed. Defendant Sommerfield required her to sign a citation for disobedience of police orders, but refused to provide her with a copy of the citation."

Siler and Cook seek damages for false arrest, excessive force, battery, and emotional distress. They are represented by Janine Hoft, with the People's Law Office.

In the dog case, Shammara Evans says she went to visit a friend in July 2011, and brought her dog, Mama, a 4-year-old pit bull, "so she could play with the two dogs owned by Rachel French."

Evans claims that North Chicago police arrived at her friend's house at about 11:45 p.m. to execute a search warrant.

"Defendant, Officer Sabet, entered the subject premises and immediately discharged a shotgun at plaintiff's dog, Mama," the complaint states.

"Plaintiff's dog, Mama, was struck about her head and body and immediately killed. "At the time, defendant Officer Sabet discharged his weapon at Mama, she was playing with the dogs of Rachel French, conducting herself peaceably and posed no threat to Officer Sabet's safety."

Evans seeks damages for excessive force, illegal seizure and emotional distress.

She is represented by Jason Marks, with Noonan, Perillo, Polenzani & Marks.

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