Family of Man Shot, Killed by Cops in East Hazel Crest Files Lawsuit

Police say Ryan Rogers, 27, drove at an officer and struck a police car last week

By Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013  |  Updated 10:56 PM CDT
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Ryan Rogers, 27, was shot and killed by officers last week outside his Hazel Crest home after authorities said he tried to run over an officer. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

Ryan Rogers, 27, was shot and killed by officers last week outside his Hazel Crest home after authorities said he tried to run over an officer. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

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The mother of an East Hazel Crest man fatally shot by Chicago police outside his south suburban home last week filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the officers.

Jacqueline Armstrong claims her son, Ryan Rogers, was at his apartment in the 1900 block of West 171st Street in East Hazel Crest when one of three police officers outside of their jurisdiction confronted Rogers and he left with a female friend on March 20, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court.

"What Chicago police were doing in East Hazel Crest we are not sure," family attorney Gregory Kulis said Wednesday.

Chicago police said their detectives were conducting surveillance in the residential neighborhood when they saw Rogers, who they described as suspicious, and female companion climb into a vehicle.

When detectives approached the vehicle, the driver stepped on the gas. The car shot out toward the officer and hit a police vehicle, police said in a statement.

An autopsy found Rogers, 27, was shot in the back and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

"There was no warrant. There was no search warrant. There was no reason to stop Mr. Rogers and for sure there was no reason to kill Mr. Rogers," said Kulis.

Rogers girlfriend, L’Nea Lancaster, told the Chicago Sun-Times she was the woman in the car and that police never identified themselves to the couple. She said she believes Rogers thought he was being robbed.

The suit also lists his two children, Ryan Rogers Jr. and Sy-Nai Rogers, and their mother, Kiara Nicholson, as plaintiffs.

The five-count suit against the three unidentified officers claims the use of deadly force was "unprovoked and unwarranted.” Armstrong, of Richton Park, is seeking more than $1 million plus compensatory and punitive damages plus court costs.

A spokesman for the city’s Department of Law declined to comment Tuesday because the city is not listed as a defendant.

The Independent Police Review Authority, which looks into officer-involved shootings, is investigating.

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