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Father of man who died after police Tasered him suing city

Updated: December 20, 2012 2:53AM

The father of a man who died after Chicago police Tasered him multiple times filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the city.

Philip Coleman, 38, was arrested Dec. 12 after police responded to a home in the 12800 block of South Morgan Street about 7 p.m. that day and found he had beaten his 69-year-old mother, authorities said at the time.

His father, Percy Coleman, claims officers knew his son needed medical attention for physical injuries and mental health issues after his arrest, but refused to take him to a doctor, the suit alleges.

Police said Philip Coleman struggled with officers and spat blood at them while being arrested, and fought with officers several times while he was in custody at the Calumet Area police lockup, 727 E. 111th St.

The next day, he again fought with officers when they attempted to transport him to court, prompting police to Taser him, according to a statement released by police News Affairs following his death.

He was subdued after police Tasered him and then transported him to Roseland Community Hospital for treatment, the statement said. At the hospital he was again physically aggressive, struggling with hospital staff and officers once again used a Taser to subdue him, police said.

Philip Coleman died at the hospital the same day, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy performed last Friday was inconclusive pending further investigation.

His father alleges the officers’ excessive force led to his son’s death, according to the suit, filed in U.S. District court.

“He wasn’t a drug dealer or a gang-banger,” Percy Coleman said previously. “He had a meltdown.”

He said his wife, Philip Coleman’s mother, was injured but was not in the hospital. “The only thing wrong with her is that she is devastated because of her son,” said the father, who works as a parole supervisor with the state of Illinois.

Wednesday’s lawsuit also claims officers “began a cover-up of what occurred” to Philip Coleman. The father accuses police of telling relatives his son was okay and located at the Calumet District lockup when he had already been injured and taken to the hospital.

The two-count suit claims civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the city and as-yet unknown police officers. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department, said city officials had not yet been served with the suit as of Wednesday evening, and declined to comment on it.

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