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Illinois Police Brutality and Police Misconduct
 
 Page 1



01/31/2006 - A state trooper has been convicted of forcing a couple to strip after he found them in a parked car along a Cook County highway last June.

A jury on Monday found Jeremy Dozier, 32, guilty of four counts of bribery and four counts of misconduct, all felonies. He was immediately taken into custody after Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta ordered his bail revoked.

The couple said they were relieved by the verdicts, delivered after four hours of deliberation.

"We're just glad it's done and now we can live our lives not in fear," said Dimitry Baum, 23, who was with his fiance, Maria "Masha" Boyko, 19, when confronted by Dozier.

Baum and Boyko both testified during the trial that Dozier, a a 10-year state police veteran, gave them Breathalyzer tests and then ordered them to disrobe and urinate in a roadside ditch. Boyko said they took off their clothes but sped away when Dozier stepped away from the car.

Dozier claimed that Baum and Boyko stripped on their own. He testified that he ordered them to stop before he returned, embarrassed, to his squad car.

Dozier's attorneys were "bitterly disappointed" and considered the jury's decision an "unjust verdict," said defense attorney Ralph Meczyk.

Prosecutors said they were pleased with the trial's outcome.

"He violated his oath (as a police officer)," said Assistant State's Attorney William Merritt.

Dozier was suspended from his job during the trial and faces dismissal proceedings, state police said. He could receive probation to up to seven years in prison when he is returns to court to be sentenced March 1.

Dozier also faces felony charges in Lake County related to a similar incident April 29 in Gurnee, when he allegedly confronted a couple in a parked car and told them to take off their clothes and run around a construction site.

=============

    07/11/2005 - A Lake County circuit court judge ruled Friday a former Grayslake police officer who admitted to taking money from the department’s union should not be locked behind bars.

 Judge James Booras said David Williams, 35, had “suffered enough” and would not serve prison time for stealing $14,000 while serving as treasurer for the Fraternal Order of Police between 1997 and 2004.

 Booras said Williams’ service as a police officer, his outstanding service in the military, and an emotional plea from his wife all kept the former decorated officer out of prison.

“This defendant has learned his lesson,” Booras said. “He’s lost the respect of his fellow officers and his community.”

 Williams was ordered to serve two years probation and pay roughly $8,000 in restitution to the union. Booras also ordered Williams to pay $1,000 to Crimestoppers and a $500 fine.

Williams is also not allowed to set foot in the Grayslake Police Department and may not work in law enforcement for at least two years.

As part of the sentence, Williams will have to serve 18-months in work-release jail if he fails any of the duties of his probation.

 Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Waller said, when issuing a sentence for a police officer, judges often consider their police and military work and community involvement.

“We recommended four years (in prison), but the judge went another way,” he said.

Williams declined to comment. The union head was unavailable Friday.

 Williams, who resigned in February, has already repaid $6,000 of the $14,000 he originally stole from the union.

 Williams, of Pell Lake, Wis., who once led the state in drunken driving arrests, pleaded guilty to single counts of theft and official misconduct. He had faced up to five years in prison.

Assistant State’s Attorney George Strickland dropped additional charges of official misconduct, obstruction of justice and unlawful communication and electronic harassment of a witness before the plea agreement was reached.

In court, Williams made a teary-eyed plea to Booras to stay out of prison.

 “All I can say is that I owe many people my deepest apologies for everything I have done,” he said. “I apologize to my wife, the men and women of the Grayslake Police Department who I let down, and the public for not living up to the oath I took when I became a police officer.”

 Lake County State’s Attorney Investigator Louis Archibald on Friday said Williams gave a Breathalyzer test to a female Barrington police officer with whom he was having a sexual relationship. He said Williams sold two department-owned firearms to police officers for cash, and was the owner of four cars and a 20-foot boat paid, in part, with union money.

 Archibald also said Williams did not have a valid driver’s license while serving as a Grayslake officer. He said Williams’ license, registered in North Carolina, was suspended for failure to appear in court on a moving violation.

*************

   07/02/2005 - A former Chicago city alderman and victim of police brutality nearly 30 years ago said he was beaten by police again early Tuesday after he tried to stop a thief who had robbed a woman at knife point outside his West Side business.

 Wallace Davis Jr, 53, said as he was closing his restaurant, Wallace's Catfish Corner, 2818 W. Madison St., after midnight, he heard a woman screaming for help.

“I went out and she said she had been robbed, so I asked her if the man was still around,” he told the Chicago Defender Thursday. “She pointed him out and I said, 'Where do you think you're going?” 

 Davis said he exchanged words with the man, whom he said was holding a butcher knife.

 “I took a broom from one of my employees who was sweeping up outside and went back and told him to drop the knife,” he said.

That's when Davis said a Black female police officer in a squad across the street came over and told him to drop the broom.

 “She said she wasn't interested in the fact that I was trying to stop a robbery and making a citizen's arrest,” he said. “Then she called me by my first name and said to give the broom to her.”

Davis gave it to her but asked that she go after the robber.

Instead, she radioed for backup.

 “A bunch of thugs – police – arrived and grabbed me from behind and beat the holy hell out of me,” Davis said. “I'm bruised everywhere and I have a fracture in my right shoulder. I am devastated and outraged about this.”

 The events were supposedly captured on surveillance tapes from cameras Davis has surrounding the restaurant.

He said he was treated and released from Bethany Hospital.

The Defender was not able to confirm Davis' claim of injuries or surveillance tape by Thursday's deadline.

Davis also said the Black officer made claims that he tried to knock her down before he was arrested.

 Officer JoAnne Taylor, a police spokeswoman, gave the Defender the following account of what allegedly took place.

 “An officer on special detail was in a squad across the street from a business in the 2800 block of W. Madison St. when she heard a citizen calling for help and saw the offender (Wallace) chasing and shouting at him.

 “She called to the offender on her car PA system twice, telling him to stop and put down the broom. He refused and said to her, “**** you, I got this,” said Taylor. “The officer called for backup and Mr. Wallace was taken into custody. He was processed at the 11th District for simple battery.”

Davis wondered why he was arrested for coming to the aid of a customer.

 “Who did I commit simple battery on?” he asked. “Where is the victim? That would be me and the lady who was being robbed because the police didn't even try to stop the guy.”

 Davis, who served the 27th Ward from 1983 to 1987, was also a victim in 1976, when he found two robbery suspects in his Chicago business and was shot by police.

 “The officer shot me in the back with a .357 Magnum,” he said. “They didn't expect me to live and people like Lu Palmer at the Defender rallied for my cause. Now they do this to me again.”

Still, he said he would go to another person's defense if they needed assistance.

 “My mother taught me to be there if a Black woman, or any woman, needed help,” said Davis. “I did what I thought was the right thing and I'd do it again.”

**************

  06/27/2005 - A former Chicago police sergeant was found guilty Wednesday of violently shaking down drug dealers for cash and narcotics over a period of six years in the mid-1990s.

 Larry Hargrove, of Henderson, Nev., sat stoically as U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen read a series of guilty verdicts that could put him behind bars for up to 45 years.

 The conviction came after a brief deliberation by the jury, which was convinced of Hargrove's guilt after hearing testimony from two members of his crew.

 The two men, Matthew Moran, a former employee of the Chicago Police Department motor pool, and Lawrence Knitter have pleaded guilty.

 The crew's alleged ringleader, former Chicago police Sgt. Eddie Hicks, fled in 2003 and remains a fugitive.

Prosecutors said they were especially pleased with the verdict Wednesday after a hung jury in March.

 "The crew would identify drug dealers in houses, apartments or, in one case, a hotel room and either do car stops or raid the homes," Assistant U.S. Atty. Morris Pasqual said.

 Using forged warrants, purportedly from Cook County Circuit Court, Hargrove and his crew members would storm into drug dealers' homes with their guns drawn, only to take what they found.

The raids worked from 1993 to 1999, until one in Alsip went badly, Pasqual said.

 On April 20, 1999, the crew entered a drug dealer's home, but at the time he was on the phone with his girlfriend, who heard what she thought was an attack on her boyfriend and called the Alsip Police Department, he said.

 When police arrived, Hicks showed them his Chicago Police Department badge and told them it was a legitimate raid, Pasqual said.

 Although the Alsip officers let them go, the incident generated enough suspicion for them to call Chicago police, which began an internal investigation along with the FBI.

 Hargrove was taken into custody Wednesday after saying goodbye to his family in a witness room outside the court where he was convicted.

His attorney, Robert Clarke, requested that he be allowed to remain free until his Sept. 21 sentencing.

"If there was any inkling he would run, he would have done it a long time ago," Clarke said.

 But Andersen pointed to the seriousness of his crime and the fact that his co-defendant remains on the lam in deciding that Hargrove had to surrender immediately.

***********

  06/24/2005 - For the second time in less than a week, an Illinois state trooper was charged Thursday with making a young couple disrobe during a traffic stop.

Investigators are checking whether he was involved in other such incidents, a prosecutor said Thursday.

 Although Robert Podlasek, a Cook County assistant state's attorney, said he was aware of at least three or four more complaints about the trooper, "with something like this, I'm not sure people will be willing to come forward and say they were forced to run around naked," he said.

 Jeremy M. Dozier, 31, of Beach Park was charged Thursday with official misconduct in an incident first reported in April. He already faces four other charges of official misconduct stemming from a similar incident reported near Northbrook on June 16.

"We're getting information on other potential incidents," Podlasek said.

 Dozier posted $3,000 bail at the Gurnee Police Department and was released before noon Thursday. He has been suspended with pay from the state police, where he worked for the last 10 years.

 Last week, Dozier confessed that he ordered a young couple to remove their clothes and urinate in a ditch during a traffic stop on Interstate Highway 94 near Northbrook, Podlasek said.

After stripping to their underwear, the couple managed to drive away and call for help, authorities said.

 A police dispatcher told them to meet an officer at the Lake Forest oasis, but when they arrived, they recognized the officer sent as Dozier, who was driving an unmarked squad car, authorities said. They drove away again, this time to Wauconda, where the man's parents lived, authorities said.

 After Dozier was arrested and charged in that case, investigators recalled a similar complaint reported by a couple in Gurnee on April 29, Lake County State's Atty. Michael Waller said.

 "They get his photograph and the victims identified Jeremy Dozier as the offender," Waller said. "It was putting two and two together."

In the April incident, a teenage girl and her boyfriend told authorities they were parked in a car about 11:15 p.m. behind a Hampton Inn at 5550 Illinois Highway 132, Gurnee police said.

 A man opened the car door, identified himself as a police officer and told the couple to get out, go to a nearby construction area and run around unclothed, police said.

"He said he would do this instead of calling their parents," Waller said.

Because the couple identified the man as a Gurnee police officer, investigators initially looked within their own department but did not question state police, Waller said.

Illinois State Police are conducting an internal investigation, officials said.

Gurnee police declined to release a photograph of Dozier, saying it could taint the investigation if more victims come forward and are asked to identify a suspect.

"Obviously, everyone is innocent until proven guilty," Gurnee police Cmdr. Jay Patrick said. "Should these allegations be found true, it's unfortunate."

Dozier has no history of disciplinary actions, said Lt. Lincoln Hampton, spokesman for the state police.

Official misconduct is a felony carrying a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail. 

*******************

  06/21/2005 - Illinois - The traffic stop for the young couple was terrifying enough when an Illinois state trooper ordered the pair to strip naked, lie in a nearby ditch and urinate.

 It got even scarier, a prosecutor said, after they fled and called 911 for help, only to be met by the same officer at a spot where the police dispatcher instructed them to wait.

 Jeremy Dozier, 31, of Beach Park, an Illinois state trooper with a decade of experience on the force, was charged Friday by Cook County prosecutors with four counts of official misconduct. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

Around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Dozier’s unmarked squad car pulled behind a car parked on the Interstate 94 shoulder near Route 41, said Marcy Jensen, spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney.

Dozier gave Breathalyzer tests to an 18-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man who had been talking in the car, said Robert Podlasek, a Cook County prosecutor.

Dozier falsely told the two the woman failed the test and said he didn’t want to arrest them, Podlasek said. They suggested he write tickets or order community service.

Instead, he ordered them to strip naked and urinate in a ditch next to the highway, Podlasek said.

They stripped to their underwear. When Dozier stepped away from the car to look at the woman, the couple fled, Podlasek said.

Dozier briefly chased them along I-94 as they called 911, where a dispatcher told them to meet an officer at the Lake Forest oasis.

“They pull up and it’s the same guy,” Podlasek said. “At that point they’re panicked.” They again sped off, driving to the Wauconda home where the man lives with his parents.

The couple spent nearly 10 hours being questioned by investigators. At 7 p.m. Thursday, Dozier was picked up at his home and told to turn over his squad car, weapon and badge.

He posted $5,000 on a $50,000 bond after a bond hearing in the Rolling Meadows courthouse and is expected back in court July 8.

Dozier is suspended with pay pending an investigation into the incident, said Lt. Lincoln Hampton, spokesman for the Illinois State Police. Dozier has never been disciplined by the department, Hampton said.

**********

   ILLINOIS -- At a Monday morning hearing in Tazewell County felony court, former Pekin police officer Reno S. Bigliazzi accepted a plea agreement with the State's Attorney's Office, reducing his charge of felony official misconduct to misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

 Bigliazzi, 39, was charged Oct. 7, 2004, in connection with allegations that he punctured the tires of his estranged wife's truck while he was on duty Sept. 17. He and his then-wife were going through divorce proceedings at the time.

******************

       ILLINOIS -- A South Side couple filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against an indicted Chicago police officer and the department, alleging he planted a gun in their apartment after breaking down their door during an unlawful search of their home last year, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Corey Flagg, an Englewood District tactical officer indicted in January with three other officers for extorting money from drug dealers, falsely arrested the plaintiff, David Sloan, on Dec. 15.

The charges against Sloan and a co-defendant were dropped March 9, more than a month after Flagg, Broderick Jones and two other police officers were charged by U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald on Jan. 27.

Sloan and his girlfriend, Tamika Sandifer, charge in the suit that Sloan was driving with his 4-year-old son in the car when Flagg and other, unknown officers pulled him over. They accused him of knowing about drug deals and took him back to his apartment in the 7700 block of South Jeffery Boulevard, said his lawyer Jon Loevy.

Sandifer had just arrived home when she heard someone trying to get in the back door. The complaint says that Flagg demanded she open the door, but she refused and picked up the phone to call 911, according to the complaint. At that point, the suit alleges, Flagg broke down the door and the officers searched the apartment.

Sloan was arrested after police said they found a gun in the wastebasket, according to the suit, which alleges the weapon was planted by the police.

Authorities said Flagg and other officers went to Sloan's apartment building to attempt to make an undercover narcotics purchase. Police said that Sloan dropped a 9 mm pistol in the hallway while Flagg was chasing him.

************

   6/23/2005 - Urbana – Two men who were arrested and subsequently released for videotaping a police officer for a documentary have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that their civil rights were violated.

  The suit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Urbana by Martel Miller and Patrick Thompson against the cities of Champaign and Urbana and Champaign County. Miller and Thompson are representing themselves.

   The two were arrested for eavesdropping for videotaping Champaign police Sgt. David Griffet and a man the officer was interviewing on Aug. 7, 2004. The case became a campaign issue in the election for state's attorney last fall.

   Miller, 43, of Champaign and Thompson, 36, of Urbana say they had been conducting interviews and documenting police-citizen interactions for their "Citizen Watch" documentary as a project for Visionaries Educating Youths and Adults, a community action group.

    They were indicted on the Class 1 felony charges in September, but the charges were ultimately dismissed when Julia Rietz took office after election as state's attorney.

   In their civil complaint, Miller and Thompson allege that Elizabeth Dobson, a former assistant state's attorney, had been riding along with Griffet and the officer consulted with her. 

   Miller states in his portion of the complaint that it was Dobson who directed seizure of the camcorder and tape. The camera was subsequently returned, but the footage seized by police was altered or destroyed, according to Miller.

 The first part of that documentary was shown on public access television in September and also shown at various public presentations.

   "We are trying to get the community involved," Miller said. "There is a problem in this community for the black people involved in the justice system. We are not represented properly."

  Part II shows an interview with a black woman who served on a jury and talks about how the rest of the jury, all white, initially thought a black man accused of rape was guilty, despite the fact that not all of the evidence had been presented.

   The video also shows interviews with several young black males expressing their frustrations, including a common concern that appointed public defenders do not represent them well.

 Thompson states in his portion of the complaint that the property was seized without permission, consent or warrant, thus violating their constitutional rights.

 They said in an interview that their First Amendment rights of free speech and their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable seizure were violated, according to Thompson.

   Thompson has a pending charge of home invasion and criminal sexual abuse, accusing him of forcing his way into an apartment in Urbana in August 2004 and forcibly trying to have sex with a woman. He denies the allegations and was frustrated at repeated continuances of his case, arguing that he had no chance to challenge the statements by the woman.

 Thompson also claims in the federal lawsuit that his rights were violated in other separate incidents in October 2003, December 2003, August 2004, September 2004, December 2004 and February 2005.

 Thompson said in an interview he believes his Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment rights were violated by police who racially discriminated against him and by prosecutors selectively prosecuting him.

 Thompson said racial discrimination is "not as bad as it used to be, with lynchings and police dogs," but their documentaries show that for blacks, the criminal justice system is not as it should be.

  Rietz and officials in Urbana and Champaign all said they had not yet been officially served with copies of the lawsuit and, thus, could not comment on any allegations.

 Jack Waaler, staff attorney for Urbana, said he unofficially received a copy of the complaint Wednesday, but has not yet read it. 

 "We can't respond at this point," Waaler said. "When we look into it, if we have not done anything wrong, we will vigorously defend it."

 Champaign City Manager Steve Carter said, "We had extensive discussions with both Patrick Thompson and Martel Miller a few months ago," Carter said. "I think we were hoping to work beyond the things that occurred during the whole eavesdropping incident. We're sorry they felt it was necessary to sue the two cities and the county."

*************

  ILLINOIS -- A Chicago police lieutenant assigned to community policing has been charged with harassing a woman after taking her cell phone number from a police report she filed last week, police said.

  It is the third time Lt. Richard Guererro, once a high-ranking member of the department's command staff, has been in trouble for allegations of mistreatment of women. In two previous cases he was investigated, reassigned and demoted, but allowed to remain on the force.

***************

  06/13/2005 - Spring Grove's police chief has fired an officer who was indicted along with three other people last week in the February beating of a man outside a tavern near Fox Lake.

Chief Donald Regnier said Tuesday that he met with Ronald Pilati on Saturday and fired him because his absence on paid leave has left the department short-handed.

"His reaction was apologetic for the position that the department was put in," Regnier said.

Efforts to reach Pilati and his lawyer Tuesday were not successful.

 Pilati joined the department in October 2002 and earned about $39,000 a year, the chief said. He had been on paid leave since April 1 as the Illinois State Police investigated the beating of Ryan Hallett on Feb. 20, Regnier said.

 On Thursday, a McHenry County grand jury indicted Pilati, former Richmond Police Officer Brian Quilici and former Lincolnshire Police Officer Jerome Volstad on charges of aggravated battery, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and unlawful restraint.

 Quilici and Pilati, who were off duty at the time of the incident, also were charged with official misconduct. Quilici resigned last month. Volstad was charged with impersonating a police officer.

In addition, Jessica Thelen of Bristol, Wis., was charged with aggravated battery and conspiracy in the case. All four have been released on bail.

===========

  05/30/2005 - A South Side couple filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against an indicted Chicago police officer and the department, alleging he planted a gun in their apartment after breaking down their door during an unlawful search of their home last year, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Corey Flagg, an Englewood District tactical officer indicted in January with three other officers for extorting money from drug dealers, falsely arrested the plaintiff, David Sloan, on Dec. 15.

The charges against Sloan and a co-defendant were dropped March 9, more than a month after Flagg, Broderick Jones and two other police officers were charged by U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald on Jan. 27.

Sloan and his girlfriend, Tamika Sandifer, charge in the suit that Sloan was driving with his 4-year-old son in the car when Flagg and other, unknown officers pulled him over. They accused him of knowing about drug deals and took him back to his apartment in the 7700 block of South Jeffery Boulevard, said his lawyer Jon Loevy.

 Sandifer had just arrived home when she heard someone trying to get in the back door. The complaint says that Flagg demanded she open the door, but she refused and picked up the phone to call 911, according to the complaint. At that point, the suit alleges, Flagg broke down the door and the officers searched the apartment.

 Sloan was arrested after police said they found a gun in the wastebasket, according to the suit, which alleges the weapon was planted by the police.

 Authorities said Flagg and other officers went to Sloan's apartment building to attempt to make an undercover narcotics purchase. Police said that Sloan dropped a 9 mm pistol in the hallway while Flagg was chasing him.

******

  ILLINOIS -- Berwyn Public Safety Director Frank Marzullo was one of five people indicted Wednesday in a supposed beating outside a Forest Park restaurant on suburban election night this month.

The victim, Wayne Pesek, 54, a former North Riverside village manager, was injured April 5 outside the Golden Steer Restaurant, at 7635 W. Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park.

Marzullo, along with his son, Jerry, and brother, Russell Marzullo, were involved in the attack, Forest Park Village administrator Michael Sturino said two days afterward. The victim was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, he added.

Pesek suffered multiple bruises and contusions, broken facial bones, cracked ribs, concussions and injuries to his spine, the Illinois attorney general's office said in a release.

Police received numerous 911 calls at around 11:15 p.m. that Tuesday night, and officers responding came upon five men standing over Pesek in the alley, Sturino said.

He said charges would be decided by the Illinois attorney general's office because Jerry Mazullo is a lawyer with the Cook County state's attorney's office.

State's attorney's office spokesman John Gorman explained that if the state's attorney's office became involved in deciding charges, there would be a conflict of interest.

Frank Marzullo was a supporter of City Clerk Michael Woodword, who lost to former Democratic alderman Michael O'Connor in an election for mayor of Berwyn on the day of the fight, according to news reports.

Frank Marzullo was indicted on two counts of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison. He also was charged with four counts of official misconduct, another Class 3 felony, for allegedly interfering with the Forest Park police investigation.

Russell Marzullo, Sr., was charged with three counts of aggravated battery and one count of unlawful restraint, a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison.

Frank Marzullo's son, Jerry Marzullo, the assistant state's attorney, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery. Michael Fellows, a Berwyn police officer, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery. His alleged role in the fight was not immediately learned.

**********************

  ILLINOIS -- A Chicago police lieutenant assigned to community policing has been charged with harassing a woman after taking her cell phone number from a police report she filed last week, police said.

  It is the third time Lt. Richard Guererro, once a high-ranking member of the department's command staff, has been in trouble for allegations of mistreatment of women. In two previous cases he was investigated, reassigned and demoted, but allowed to remain on the force.

********************

  05/25/2005 - Former Cook County sheriff's officer Ronnie Baffield was sentenced to 18 months' probation Tuesday after a Cook County judge amended his bribery conviction from felony counts to a misdemeanor.

 Baffield, 49, was convicted earlier this year on charges of bribery and official misconduct for allegedly threatening two men he caught engaging in sex acts in a forest preserve. Baffield allegedly took $100 from one man he caught in Bemis Woods near Western Springs.

Tom Stanton, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, said Judge Evelyn Clay, who had convicted Baffield in a bench trial, amended the conviction.

Baffield's lawyer, Clarence Burch, said he was able to argue successfully that because sex between two consenting adults is not a crime, it was not a bribe to cover up an illegal act.

============

   05/24/2005 - A man serving a 10-year sentence for dealing drugs was freed from prison Thursday, a day after prosecutors determined they could not uphold his conviction because their only witness is an indicted police officer who allegedly robbed drug dealers.

A Cook County judge overturned the conviction of Dwayne Smith, who served 32 months at the Stateville Correctional Center, based on the decision by prosecutors.

Smith's charges are the latest of at least 10 to be dropped because of links to Englewood District tactical officer Broderick Jones and his partner, Corey Flagg, who were charged in January with robbing and extorting drugs and money from drug dealers.

 "After reviewing this case following the arrest of our lone witness, we determined we could not meet the burden of proof necessary to uphold the defendant's conviction," said Thomas Stanton, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Smith was arrested Sept. 3, 2002, by Jones, who testified he observed the Englewood man dealing cocaine in the 5600 block of South Aberdeen Street. Jones was the only officer involved in the arrest.

 Being released was a dramatic turn of events for Smith, who had been convicted of crimes nine times in the past. Also on Thursday, his lawyer filed a federal lawsuit against Jones, the city and the Police Department, alleging that police officials were well aware of Jones' misconduct before Smith was convicted in 2003.

The lawsuit notes that Jones was stripped of his police powers on Aug. 22, 2003, nine days after Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Jones was accused of helping a shooting suspect flee arrest, according to the federal complaint against him.

 "The city knew Jones was bad, and they didn't do anything about it," said Smith's lawyer, Kenneth Flaxman. The suit alleges that police concealed their knowledge of Jones' "wrongdoing" while Smith was being prosecuted. The lawsuit seeks damages of $1 million.

 Flaxman has handled a number of federal lawsuits against the officers and the city since the federal charges were filed. Most of the cases have already been settled by the city, he said.

 Last month a South Side couple filed suit against Flagg and the city, alleging the officer falsely arrested the man. Charges against him were dropped March 9, also because prosecutors no longer have a usable witness in the case.

***************

   ILLINOIS -- Acting on a tip, police raided the "City Nights" club Thursday night. Officers say they found nude dancers working in the club, which is illegal in East St. Louis.

Assistant Police Chief Lenzie Stewart talked to reporters shortly after the arrests.

Stewart says, "We had to take time out to address this problem. We don't want our city to be catering to nude dancers, and once again it is a violation of our city ordinances and we will not tolerate it."

Police arrested five of the dancers and three men, including John Moore, a former New Melle, MO, police officer.

Police say Moore still had his badge and .357 semi-automatic pistol with him. He was cited for operating an illegal strip club and operating without a business license.

Also arrested was the bouncer, who is an officer on administrative leave from the Washington Park Police Department.

**************

    BLOOMINGTON -- A former Bloomington police officer admitted Thursday to trying to exploit his position to conceal his relationship with a prostitute.

 Joseph Kavanaugh, 26, of Normal, pleaded guilty in McLean County Circuit Court to two misdemeanor counts of attempted official misconduct. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed three felony counts of official misconduct and two misdemeanor counts of patronizing a prostitute.

 Kavanaugh received an agreed sentence of 12 months' conditional discharge, which is non-reporting probation, and more than $1,000 in fines in court costs. The deal also carried 30 days in jail, stayed pending review, meaning Kavanaugh won't have to serve the time provided he complies with the terms of conditional discharge.

Assistant State's Attorney Kim Campbell said prosecutors were satisfied with the plea agreement because Kavanaugh has no prior record and already resigned from his job as a Bloomington patrol officer.

Although the misdemeanor convictions don't legally bar Kavanaugh from getting another job as a cop, Campbell said it's likely to dissuade any police department from hiring him.

"I highly doubt he'll ever be employed in any kind of law enforcement capacity in the future, and that was one of our main concerns," she said.

The first charge Kavanaugh admitted to stated that he contacted an officer in the Bloomington police vice unit in June and tried to determine whether Rowena Harris had incriminated him for patronizing her as a prostitute.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to make a report on a theft case involving Harris in August 2003 because he feared doing so could lead to their relationship being revealed, Campbell said.

The charges that were dismissed accused Kavanaugh of having sexual contact with Harris three times during patrol shifts between July and December 2003.

Prosecutors say the encounters occurred at a Bloomington motel, a rail yard and in Kavanaugh's squad car at White Oak Park.

In May, Bloomington police set up a sting operation at a motel and arranged for Kavanaugh to take a report from Harris. He made comments indicating the two had sex in the past and held up a sign asking Harris if she was working for the Bloomington police vice unit, according to prosecutors.

 
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