Black man violently arrested by Chicago police for having ‘a shocked look on his face’ files lawsuit

Francis Akhalbey February 23, 2021
Body camera footage showed Leroy Kennedy IV being violently arrested by Chicago police officers -- Screenshots via KABC-TV

A Black man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department alleging he was violently arrested for no reason whatsoever during an incident that left him with facial injuries last year.

In an interview with KABC-TV, the plaintiff – Leroy Kennedy IV – reiterated his innocence, saying the incident has left him traumatized. Kennedy said he ended up spending four days in jail and an aggravated battery of a police officer charge against him was later dropped.

“It left me feeling traumatized. Man, I ain’t gonna lie. You get nervous. You get even more nervous once you see the police,” he said.

Kennedy said the incident occurred when he was on his way to a store in Humboldt Park. He alleged he was confronted by two Chicago Police officers who roughed him up and slammed him to a brick wall, adding that his head was also hit against a sidewalk more than once. The incident was reportedly witnessed by angry bystanders who called the officers out for their actions. Kennedy told the news outlet he suffered a concussion and injuries to his wrist and hand. The arrest also left him with visible grazes on his face.

“I told him like ‘Sir, I’m not resisting. I just want to get my glasses,” he told the news outlet. “He slammed me again thinking I’m resisting.” The video camera footage of the incident also shows Kennedy walking unsteadily as the officers escort him into a patrol car in handcuffs.

Per the police report, the officers wrote they confronted Kennedy as he had “a shocked look on his face” when he saw them, adding that they suspected he was “attempting to conceal a firearm,” KABC-TV reported. Kennedy was, however, not armed and he did not also have any drugs on him. The officers could not also fully explain the motive behind the arrest to supervisors when they arrived.

“The police couldn’t even pretend he did anything,” Kennedy’s attorney said. “So you have a police report which gives no description of a crime and no reason for approaching him, other than his bulging eyes.”

The lawsuit states Kennedy is seeking “compensatory damages and because defendants acted maliciously, wantonly, or oppressively, punitive damages against the individual (officers) in their individual capacities,” CNN reported. Additionally, the plaintiff also seeks court as well as attorney fees.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 24, 2021


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