A 24-year-old West Pullman man filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that his civil rights were violated when a Chicago police officer punched him in the face without provocation or legitimate cause -- while a group of his colleagues looked on and did not intervene.
LaMonte Simmons' complaint dates back to Aug. 3, 2009, when he claims two Chicago police officers entered his home without a warrant and placed one of his friends in a choke-hold, according to NBC Chicago. Then, Simmons said he inquired about what was happening and he was asked to leave the home. Later, he said was punched directly in the face by a third officer on the street outside his home while nearly a dozen other officers watched.
The incident was caught on video via a neighbor's cell phone. Simmons' attorney, Jon Loevy, said his client was subsequently arrested and charged with assault against an officer, obstruction of justice and other crimes but he was found not guilty on all charges in April of this year, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In the Wednesday press conference explaining why he was bringing the lawsuit forward, Simmons said, "I can see the reason people in that neighborhood don't trust police. They punch and ask questions later, basically," as quoted by NBC Chicago.
According to ABC7, the incident in question has been under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority since 2009, but Simmons and his attorneys contend the IPRA has yet to take proper action on their complaint.
Watch video of the scuffle between Simmons and the police:
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.