The alleged beating of a West Side male teen by Chicago Police late January is the basis for a lawsuit filed by civil rights attorney Stan Willis, who hosted a public meeting at Malcolm X College last Friday concerning the incident.
Tonyja Thomas, mother of alleged beating victim, 13-year-old Anthony Thomas gave an account of the incident at Friday’s meeting. The alleged incident took place Jan. 26, in the Harrison Police District (10th), she said.
Five white officers, she said, assaulted her 92-pound son while in the back seat of the police car, calling him derogatory names and leaving him with “bodily and emotional scars.”
Family attorney Stan Willis filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the five unnamed white officers in U.S. District Court on Feb, 9. Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said a full investigation is underway. The city is also named in the suit.
Willis said Friday that they will not be able to get the names of the officers until “discovery process from the pending lawsuit.” Anthony’s father was not present at the meeting.
Thomas broke down as she recounted what happened to her son.
“When I got to him I asked if he had done anything and my son said over and over that he did not do anything,” recalled, Thomas, a court clerk at the Harrison and Kedzie Cook County court branch.
Thomas said a female witness at the scene observed her son being dragged through the mud as the woman stopped and she looked. The witness claims that when police saw her looking at what was happening, they took the handcuffs off and threw the 13-year-old over a truck nearby, said Thomas.
Her son claims he tried to run to get their license plates, but he was afraid they would run over him. Because his eyes were swollen he could only get three digits of the car, she said.
Tonyja Thomas’ full account of the incident is as follows:
“On January 26, 2006, he (Anthony) was coming from school and while going toward Marshall High School (3250 W. Adams), he observed teenagers fighting, so he made an about-face. When he saw the crowd he turned and went through the alley trying to get home. The police came from Madison Street. They didn’t get quite to Albany Street; they came around a building. When Anthony saw them he went through the gangway of the building. When he got to the corner of the building they jumped out the car and told him ‘bitch come here; come here bitch!’ So he took off and ran. One of his friends said ‘run into the building.’ However, it was locked. When he ran around the building, one of the police officers, who had to be around 280 pounds, jumped on top of him and slammed him to the ground.
“He picked him up after getting scratched up and bleeding and threw him into the car. This is when I received a phone call saying ‘they got Tony, they got Tony.’ I was at Kedzie and Harrison Street already – also I do work for the court at Kedzie and Harrison at Branch 43. When my oldest son called saying they got Tony, I wanted to know where they were taking him to. He said he didn’t know; they put him in handcuffs and threw him in the car. When I got to Madison and Albany, the kids said, ‘they got Tony.’ There were two officers in the car and a lady police officer came with her taser stick. (Police supervisors are believed to be the only officers to carry the device.)
They then took him to another car while in handcuffs. Instead of taking him to the Harrison District, they took him to Lake Street to a vacant alley lot and began questioning him, and he continued to say he didn’t know the answers to their questions.”
The Austin Weekly News will continue to follow this case.