A high school track and football star at Northern Illinois University is suing the Illinois State Police and the Matteson Police Department for police brutality, attorneys announced Thursday.
Jyran Mitchell, a freshman at the university, and his family held a press conference to discuss the lawsuit they filed at the Cochran Firm in Chicago.
Mitchell says police arrested the wrong person and injured him in the process and now he and his family want the officers to be held accountable. In February of 2018, Mitchell was a 4.0 student at Rich Central High School. He played on the varsity basketball team, was a member of the track and field team, and a star of the football team. But his senior year changed in an instant after an encounter with police.
"I can never get (that) back," he said.
Mitchell was at his home in Matteson, according to the suit, when police came to the door and wrongly accused him of fleeing a traffic stop. As officers handcuffed him "they attempted to take him down by pushing his face into the ground" and "violently kicked the side of Jyran's knee," the suit says.
"I didn't know if I was going to live or die," he said.
His grandmother, Carolyn, answered the door that night and tried to tell the officers that they were mistaking Mitchell for his brother.
"I was respectful to the police, kind to the police," she said.
She expected they would respect her as a senior and a woman, she said, but instead they attacked her grandson.
Mitchell suffered a torn meniscus, which forced him to miss his final track season, and red shirt his freshman year on the NIU football team.
Illinois State Police and the village of Matteson both declined to comment citing ongoing litigation.