Chicago Pays $100,000 to Photojournalist Arrested and Abused by Police
A photojournalist who photographed Chicago police abusing a protesters during the 2012 NATO Summit, only to be beaten up himself by police, received a $100,000 settlement last month.
Joshua Lott, who was on assignment for Getty Images, said police destroyed one of two of his cameras as they stomped on him and beat him with batons.
He was jailed for misdemeanor reckless conduct, a charge that was dismissed when the cops failed to show up to court.
One of the arresting officers, Commander Glenn Evans, who has a long history of abuse complaints against him, will go to trial on December 8 for an unrelated incident in which he is accused of shoving a gun down a man’s throat.
Also mentioned in his suit with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired earlier today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
According to WBEZ:
The incident took place May 20, 2012, as Lott was covering a downtown NATO protest for Getty Images. He said he was carrying two cameras and his press credentials when he saw two officers mistreating a young man.
“They had him down on the ground and they were beating him with batons,” Lott said. “The officers that were beating him just weren’t happy that I was taking pictures and told me I needed to leave. I indicated that I was a working journalist and who I was working for.”
The officers returned to beating the young man, Lott said. The journalist kept taking photos.
“They came over and approached me a second time,” Lott said. “They took me off to the side of the road and threw me to ground, and I had numerous officers beating me the same way they were beating the kid that I was photographing — with the batons — and stomping on me.”
Lott said Evans, a lieutenant at the time, “hit me a bunch of times” using a baton. Tobias slammed the camera to the ground “like a football spike,” Lott said.
In Lott’s lawsuit, Evans sat for a deposition last July but refused to answer hundreds of questions. The commander cited his Fifth Amendment rights.
The Lott case is among at least seven instances in which Evans has allegedly used excessive force leading to lawsuits and city payments to the plaintiffs, according to a WBEZ review of court filings and city Law Department records. The payouts total $324,999, not counting tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses.
All the settlements specify that the city and Evans deny wrongdoing and liability.
The $100,000 settlement is just a fraction of the $500 million that has been paid out by Chicago in the past decade because of police abuse, according to DNA Info Chicago.