Suit: Robbins Police used excessive force, caused miscarriage
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org October 5, 2012 12:06AM
Updated: October 5, 2012 7:32PM
Another Chicago area woman has filed a lawsuit against a local police department charging she was pregnant and brutally Tasered in an encounter with police.
Former Robbins resident Cherese Morris filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday against the south suburb, its police department, police chief and three of its officers, alleging she miscarried two weeks after the 2011 incident.
Morris’ suit charges the two arresting officers with use of excessive force, battery, willful and wanton misconduct and violation of her civil rights. The two, and a third officer, are charged with conspiracy and cover-up; the police chief with negligent training and supervision of his officers.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
“The only thing I can say is that these are allegations that obviously will be vetted through a legal process,” Robbins Village Administrator Napoleon Haney said on Friday.
While circumstances triggering Morris’ arrest were unclear, the suit is reminiscent of an incident in Chicago in June.
Pullman resident Tiffany Rent filed a suit in federal court after she was Tasered at eight months pregnant by a Chicago police officer. Rent had been ticketed for parking in a disabled spot at a South Side Walgreens. After she ripped up the ticket and allegedly attempted to drive off, Rent was Tasered and allegedly dragged from her car by the police officer.
A month later, Rent’s baby appeared healthy at birth.
The Robbins incident occurred exactly a year ago. Haney said the original police report was not immediately accessible.
According to the suit, Morris was charged with domestic battery, criminal damage to property, battery and resisting a peace officer. Cook County prosecutors dropped the first two charges, and declined to prosecute the others.
The suit alleges Morris was talking on her cell phone at an address in Robbins, when two officers approached and placed her under arrest for no reason, pulling her hands behind her back so roughly that she “heard her right arm pop.”
Her screams of pain went ignored as she was “violently tossed” face down into the rear of a squad car, and as she continued to scream in pain, she “was tasered four or more times,” to the point of unconsciousness, the suit says.
“At the time of the incident, Plaintiff was approximately two months pregnant,” the suit states. “And approximately two weeks after the aforementioned incident, Plaintiff lost said child due to the aforementioned acts of Defendants.”
Morris tried to file a formal complaint in August, but was told by the third Robbins officer to come back, and upon returning weeks later, the same officer told her the two officers no longer worked for Robbins and that the statute of limitations for her filing had run out, the suit states.
“She was carrying a baby. It is definitely unfortunate in this day and age that things like this have to happen. It’s completely unnecessary,” Morris’ lawyer, Michael Lichner, said. “Cherise looks to the courts to have her rights vindicated and the truth be told.”