Man Beaten By Off-Duty Cop On Video At Portillo's Alleges Police Cover-up
By Rachel Cromidas in News on Dec 7, 2016 9:10PM
Cell phone footage from two witnesses
A man who was beaten by an off-duty cop at Portillo's last year is now suing over police brutality and alleging that the Chicago Police Department tried to cover up the beating, which was caught on video.
The cop, Khaled Shaar, was allegedly working as a security guard at Portillo's in River North and off-duty at the time. He reportedly hit and punched Terrence Clarke on June 15 (which happened to be the night the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2015 and River North was mobbed with hockey fans) before arresting him. Clarke had become combative, according to police reports, after Shaar asked him and his family to leave because it was closing time, and Clarke threw hot cheese at him.
In a lawsuit filed today in Cook County Circuit Court, Clarke argues that Shaar used unnecessary and excessive force. He also disputed the police narrative of what happened: According to the lawsuit, Clarke told Shaar that his family would leave the restaurant once they finished their meals, and Shaar was angry that Clarke would not get up immediately, WGN reports. According to the police department, Shaar is being investigated and is not on street duty.
Earlier this year police released graphic videos of the incident along with a trove of videos relating to potential cases of police brutality under investigation by the city. You can see Clarke throw something at the 5:30 mark on the video below, and you can see Shaar call 9-1-1 while Clarke says "give me my money back."
The police incident report at the time said "offender resisted arrested then started striking victim with closed fists and swung a chair at victim, striking him." Then it says "victim defended himself by striking the offender in the head and face with his right hand."
As we wrote at the time the videos were released, none of the footage seems to bear out the claim that Clarke hit Shaar with a chair. The two did scuffle, and Clarke yells "get away from me" as Shaar repeatedly punches Clarke on the video.
Cell phone video by a man identifying himself as Clarke's son shows that witnesses were incredulous about what they had just witnessed: