Two men have filed civil rights lawsuits against the Chicago Police Department, alleging they were repeatedly beaten by officers for no justifiable reason while protesting George Floyd’s death and police violence a year ago.
John Fix and Gabriel Chinchilla claim they were attacked by officers with batons, suffering serious injuries, while protesting in River North on May 31.
The lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court Wednesday, say Fix and Chinchilla were walking at Hubbard and Clark streets when they saw a man lying on the ground and thought he needed help. But when they tried to approach the man, the two say officers used their bikes to push them away.
Fix and Chinchilla say police became more aggressive and hostile as officers arrived dressed in riot gear and armed with pepper spray and riot batons.
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The officers “savagely struck (Fix) repeatedly about his head and body, struck him with riot batons, and continued to hit him while he was collapsed on the ground and in a prone position.
“The unjustified beating continued while (Fix) screamed for help. At times, multiple assaulting officers beat (Fix) simultaneously,” the lawsuit states.
Chinchilla says in his lawsuit that he “repeatedly begged” the officers to stop. “The beating continued while other officers watched this occur to (Chinchilla) without intervening or rendering aid.
Photos reproduced in the lawsuit show both men with head lacerations and bruises over their bodies. The two say they have video of the beatings, as well as recordings from news media and others who filmed the protest.
Noting that the Chicago Police Department has a history of brutality, “misconduct of this nature threatens the safety of our city’s residents, tarnishes the reputation of good law enforcement officers, and perpetuates an enduring negative image of the Chicago Police Department,” attorneys for the two said in a statement.
There was no immediate comment from the police department or the city.