Police Shot Man After He Called 9-1-1 During Traffic Stop, Lawsuit Says
By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Feb 9, 2017 2:42PM
A man who said that he was shot several times by Chicago police when he called 9-1-1 during a traffic stop has filed an excessive force claim against the city.
Antwon Golatte, now 35, was shot during a traffic stop on Feb. 7, 2015. Police officers had claimed that Golatte had tried to run them down and, fearing for their safety, shot him. However, not only was Golatte cleared of all charges in the case, but the city’s Independent Police Review Authority ruled that the shooting was unjustified and recommended that three of the officers involved in the case be fired. When the ruling came down this summer, it was viewed as a cautiously hopeful sign of change in the way the city approaches police violence.
But months later, Golatte says that the city has dragged its heels in disciplining the officers involved, according to CBS Chicago. The suit names the city as well as the five police officers involved and accuses them of excessive force, false arrest, failure to intervene, conspiracy to deprive him of his constitutional rights and for refusing to change the very policies that led to misconduct.
Golatte still has bullet fragments in his body, as well as nerve damage and scars from the shooting.
"I think I have a purpose to tell my story for those who can't tell it right now because the officers, they got too much power when they can do whatever they want to do to people," Golatte told the Chicago Tribune. "But they forget they are human just like we are human. Everybody is the same, we all are human, you can't just keep abusing your power and doing things to people."
The incident happened at 2 p.m. in the afternoon while Golatte was running errands. It initially seemed like a routine police stop, but Golatte started to fear for his life when police called for back-up and he recognized the officers from a stop that had happened a few days earlier. In that stop, officers had dumped pizza that he had in his car, cuffed him and made him stand barefoot in snow while they searched his car, the suit says.
During this stop, Golatte called 9-1-1, which angered the cops, and they began to point their guns at him. Golatte attempted to roll down his window to communicate with the officers. An officer jumped on the running board and pulled the window, shattering it. Golatte said he had managed to remain calm until that point, when officers then fired at him.
"We understand that the city and the police department are doing what it takes to fix future problems. But what about the past victims?" his attorney Chris Stewart said. "What about the people like Mr. Golatte who were victims of that broken system beforehand? What are they doing to resolve those issues? We already had to fight the criminal case, now we're going to have to fight a civil case that everybody knows what the officers did was wrong, both in court and out of court."
You can see the suit here: