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Lawsuit alleges cop beat man while others watched

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A man is suing the Chicago Police Department claiming that he was beaten by an officer two years ago while other officers watched.

The man claims he has home video to prove it.

LaMonte Simmons says he standing with his neighbors in the West Pullman neighborhood when an officer punched him in the face unprovoked. A resident shot the incident on his video camera.

Simmons has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the Chicago Police Department of violating his constitutional rights.

Simmons is not about to forget August 3, 2009, and through a federal lawsuit, the 22-year-old wants to make sure the Chicago Police Department and several of its officers will not forget it either.

Caught on home videotape, Simmons says he was punched after he verbally objected to several officers raiding his neighbor's home without a warrant. Simmons says he never threatened the officers or used profanity.

"Why are you doing this? You are wrong, you have no right, you have no probable cause to be on this porch or on this block," Simmons said he told officers.

Simmons says he complied when asked by the cops to walk away. Then one officer, followed by several others, walked toward Simmons.

"That police officer took his fist, and swung it, and hit LaMonte in the face, no provocation, no justification, and then a bunch of other police officers jumped on LaMonte and used all kinds of violence and subdued him, causing him pain and injuries," said Jon Loevy, Simmons' attorney.

Simmons was charged with aggravated battery, resisting arrest and obstructing justice. He was offered a plea deal but refused.

"I'm innocent. I didn't want to go have anything on my record if I really didn't do anything wrong," said Simmons.

Simmons case went to trial and he was acquitted.

Now he wants Chicago police to admit what they did wrong, Simmons and his attorneys said, including all the officers who witnessed the punch.

"None of those police officers acted. None of them reported it," Loevy said.

"I can see the reason why citizens in that neighborhood do not trust the police," said Simmons.

When the incident happened two years ago, Simmons said he reported it to the Independent Police Review Authority. Simmons attorneys accuse IPRA of failing to take any action.

IPRA tells ABC7 there has been an active investigation of the case since 2009.

The Chicago Police Department referred calls to the city law department, which said it has not received the suit and could not comment.

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