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    Monday, December 29, 2008

    Quadraplegic Convicted of Resisting Arrest and Battery of Chicago Police Officers Sues for Excessive Force

    Quadriplegic Man Files a Lawsuit Accusing Chicago Police of Beating Him

    A paralyzed man convicted of resisting arrest and hitting a Chicago police officer in a 2006 incident is suing the city and several of its police officers for violating his civil rights. Daniel Casares, who is a quadriplegic, says that police pulled him from his vehicle and beat him even after he told them that he was paralyzed and could not get out of the car.

    Casares has been a partial C2 quadriplegic for a long time. He only has minimal movement only in his right arm, and of course is confined to a wheelchair. Most of his movements are muscle spasms not under his control. Emotions increase the muscle spasms as they did on the date in question. Casares was sitting in the passenger seat of a car in an alley where he had gone with his brother to admire a car. One of his interests is in cars so he is taken to look at interesting cars owned by his friends.

    The police were apparently suspecting that drug deals were done in that alley and suspected his brother. They pulled their guns and told everyone to get out of the car. When Casares did not get out, despite everyone yelling he was quadriplegic, Casares claims a female officer got in the driver's seat, pulled her gun and pushed it at his thigh and said "you're going to walk now." This great stress induced a muscle spasm that slapped her in the face. Immediately after that the police dragged him out of the car and beat him. His face was severely contused and swollen. They beat him more harshly because he refused to walk.

    Three police officers that testified at Casares’s criminal trial offer a different account. They claim that they never drew their guns during the altercation and accuse Casares of hitting a female cop when she asked him to exit his car.

    Cesares was charged with resisting arrest and misdemeanor battery. He was convicted at a bench trial. Judge Brown apparently was impressed with Caseras' muscles - he is well toned in the arms because of constant involuntary spasms. Caseras told the judge he had only limited movement of his right arm demonstrating that he could move it a little up and down. The judge was so incompetent and outrageously biased that he ignored the fact that Caseras is quadriplegic with mostly muscle spasms and limited movement and the likelihood that Caseras involuntarily slapped the officer in the face and convicted Caseras who was sentenced to probation. To say there is NO reasonable doubt is insane and unfair.

    Civil rights organizations and disability rights groups should jump onto this case and aid Caseras. We should also consider racial bias and discrimination against Caseras because he is Hispanic. Judge Brown should be removed from the bench for this outrage. The case should be overturned on appeal and if it is not, then we truly live in a totalitarian police state where police can beat, abuse, harass, and kill people with impunity!

    This is a case screaming for the intervention of the U.S. Attorney. To me this is felony violation of civil rights under color of law, excessive force, unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, and racial discrimination.

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