CHICAGO (CN) – Chicago police killed a driver and wounded a passenger “without justification” during a traffic stop, then threatened to charge the wounded man “with the murder of his friend if he did not sign a statement that was favorable to them,” the man claims in Federal Court.
Matthew Coyler sued Chicago and its police Officers R. Mosqueda and G. Sierra.
According to the complaint, “On the morning of January 7, 2011, plaintiff Matthew Coyler was a passenger in a car driven by Darius Pinex.
“Mr. Pinex’s car was pulled over by defendants Mosqueda and Sierra.
“Defendants yelled for them to exit the vehicle and to put their hands in the air.
“Both plaintiff and Mr. Pinex put their hands in the air pursuant to the officers’ orders.
“As plaintiff was complying with defendants’ order to get out of the car, but before he was all the way out, defendants opened fire on the car without justification.
“Defendants fired almost 20 rounds, killing Darius Pinex on the scene.
“Plaintiff was injured from the gunfire, including a wound to his hand which required sutures.”
NBC Chicago reported that police stopped Pinex on the South Side of Chicago because his car matched the description of a vehicle used in an incident in which shots were fired.
The police claimed that after stopping Pinex put his car in reverse, striking and dragging an officer, then put the car in drive and tried to hit the other officer, who opened fire, according to the Jan. 7, 2011 NBC Channel 5 report.
Coyler’s 4-page complaint contains no such story.
He claims: “In order to cover for their excessive and deadly force, defendants threatened to charge plaintiff with the murder of his friend if he did not sign a statement that was favorable to them.
“Faced with the threat of a murder charge, and fearful of the men who had killed Mr. Pinex, plaintiff complied and signed the statement. Plaintiff was then released without being arrested or criminally charged.”
Coyler seeks punitive damages for excessive force.
He is represented by Amanda Antholt, with Smith, Johnson & Antholt.