‘We Serve, Protect and Knock You Down’

CHICAGO (CN) – A Chicago Heights police officer handcuffed and knocked down a disabled 67-year-old woman, then maliciously prosecuted her for “disorderly conduct,” after the woman, who has spinal stenosis, severe arthritis and osteoporosis and walks with a cane, could not get up with her hands cuffed behind her back, she claims in Federal Court.

     Annie Black claims that Officer Steve Ankarlo approached her as she spoke with a friend while legally parked in a convenience store parking lot, and told them, “‘I bet none of you all have licenses or insurance,’ or words to that effect.”
Black says she told Ankarlo that she had a license and insurance, and he told her to “shut the fuck up.”
     Black says she “suffers from severe arthritis, spinal stenosis, and osteoporosis … walks with a cane, and her disability is obvious to any observer.”
     Nonetheless, she says, Ankarlo told her “to put her hands behind her back so he could cuff her. She says she told him that she had just gotten out of the hospital, and had severe arthritis, so she could not place her hands behind her back because it would hurt her.”
     But she says Ankarlo grabbed her arms, “wrenched them behind her back, and placed handcuffs on her wrists. Plaintiff immediately cried out in pain.”
     As Ankarlo pulled her “backwards by the handcuffs towards his squad car,” Black says, she “stumbled and fell to the ground onto her back.”
     The complaint continues: “Defendant Officer ordered her to get up, but Plaintiff was unable to comply. Other squad cars pulled into the parking lot. One of the newly arrived officers assisted Plaintiff to her feet and told Defendant Officer to remove the handcuffs. The handcuffs were then removed.
     “Plaintiff directed one of these officers to the location of her cane and her proof of license and registration. One of the newly arrived officers drove Plaintiff back to the police station, where Defendant Officer caused her to be falsely charged with disorderly conduct, and also unlawfully ticketed her for improper parking, and no insurance.
     “Plaintiff was released from custody and went to the Emergency room at St. James Hospital, where she was treated for pain related to Defendant Officer’s misconduct.
     “Plaintiff pleaded not guilty to the false charge and false tickets Defendant Officer brought against her. All three of these proceedings were dismissed.”
     She seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, excessive force, battery, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment. She is represented by Tony Thedford Jr. of Chicago.

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