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Protester arrested during NATO demonstration sues city

Updated: April 30, 2013 12:46AM

A man arrested during last year’s NATO protests is suing the city, claiming Chicago Police beat and dragged him after he was involuntarily pushed into a line of officers.

Authorities initially charged Philip Devon with reckless conduct, but the charge was dismissed after prosecutors failed to show up to a court date last December, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. A judge later denied the prosecution’s motion to reinstate the case.

Devon claims he and other NATO protesters were in close quarters near State and Madison streets the night of May 19, when police officers formed a line and told the crowd to move back.

He tried to comply, but other protesters and the size of the crowd pushed him toward police, the suit claims.

One officer allegedly pushed Devon facedown to the ground and hit him with a baton before dragging him 30 to 40 feet down State Street to handcuff him, according to the suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Devon, of Chicago, says he was demonstrating peacefully and that police had no cause to arrest him, the suit said.

The suit claims excessive force, false arrest and malicious prosecution, and it names two officers as well as the city as defendants. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

A city Law Department spokesman said officials had not yet been served with the suit and could not comment on it.

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