The family of a Chicago man who was shot to death by 15th District police after fleeing from Oak Park officers after an armed robbery attempt in River Forest has filed a lawsuit against the two municipalities.
The 16-count federal suit alleges wrongful death and violation of due process rights on the part of both Oak Park and Chicago, as well as numerous officers, including two Oak Park tactical officers.
Tommy Morris, 46, was shot dead the night of July 1, 2005 by 15th District tactical officers after he allegedly pulled a gun on them following a car chase that began in Oak Park. His nephew, Stanley Morris, now 36, was arrested nearby.
On June 18, 2007, Delores Morris and Stanley Morris filed suit in Cook County Circuit court. On June 29, the case, which seeks over $350,000, was transferred to federal court.
Around 10:30 p.m., July 1, a man with a gun accosted two pedestrians on the 7700 block of Madison Street in River Forest. The gunman then jumped into a waiting car. The West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center broadcast the description of the car and occupants. Two Oak Park street crimes officers spotted the car on Madison at Clinton Avenue. They attempted to pull it over, but the driver refused to stop and a chase ensued. A marked Oak Park unit took over the pursuit, chasing the car to Madison and Laramie Avenue in Chicago. A 15th District squad car took over the chase.
Near Lamon and Washington Boulevard, the two suspects reportedly jumped out of their car while it was still moving after they were blocked by a Chicago squad car heading south on Lamon. The men fled in different directions as the car rolled into the squad car.
There is conflicting accounts between police and allegations in the lawsuit.
The suit claims that Tommy Morris was never aggressive towards officers the night he was shot, but that officers from both Chicago and Oak Park shot Morris in the back without any warning. Police say Morris turned as he fled, drew a pistol from his waistband and pointed it at the officers.