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Police Lawsuit Alleges Election Night Harrasement

By Tim State in News on Nov 23, 2008 8:16PM

A group of Chicago residents living on the West Side have filed a suit against the Chicago Police Department for alleged harassment as they celebrated the outcome of the election.

Attorneys for the 22 residents of the city's West Side say the plaintiffs were celebrating outside their homes Nov. 4 when baton-wielding police officers arrived and started beating residents and firing pepper spray at them, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, joins two others alleging harassment by Chicago Police on Election Night.

Attorney Blake Horowitz told the Tribune the West Side incident was racially motivated because the plaintiffs were black and cheering the election of the nation's first black president. He said criminal charges brought against three of the plaintiffs were later dropped.

One of the plaintiffs, Lenneth Suggs, said in the suit he was wearing an Obama T-shirt when officers yelled "(expletive) Obama" as they sprayed him, while another alleges police used a Taser on him and broke his cellphone when he tried to photograph what was happening, the newspaper said. [UPI, Trib]