By Bob Uphues
The village of Brookfield has paid $117,500 to settle a lawsuit involving police officers who allegedly used excessive force while arresting a 51-year-old man in 2012.
Lee J. Knight filed suit in U.S. District Court against the village in 2014, claiming officers David Harrison, Nicholas Hahn and Mark McEwan "hog tied" him and then beat and used a Taser repeatedly on him while handcuffed.
Knight was arrested when officers responded to his Brookfield apartment twice during the early morning hours of Sept. 30, 2012, after a neighbor called to complain of Knight blaring music and pounding on the walls and floor of his apartment.
The village and the police officers have denied wrongdoing and make no admission of guilt in the settlement of the case, which had been set to go to trial on April 17.
According to the settlement agreement, both sides wanted "to avoid the uncertainty of the outcome of litigation and the expense" of further litigation.
The Landmark obtained a copy of the settlement agreement on May 12 after submitting a Freedom of Information request to the village of Brookfield.
It's the second federal lawsuit involving actions by police officers that the village of Brookfield has settled in the past seven months.
In October 2016, the village paid $95,000 to settle a lawsuit filed in 2015 by two LaGrange Park men who claimed officers wrongly arrested and prosecuted them and used excessive force to take them into custody.
That lawsuit, also filed in U.S. District Court, came after a Cook County Circuit Court trial in which the two men were found not guilty of their alleged offenses at a Brookfield bar in December 2013.
Police had responded to the bar for a report of a brawl. The two LaGrange Park men were friends of the bar owner and were helping clean up after the fight, according to the lawsuit.
Brookfield also admitted no wrongdoing in settling that case. That settlement, unlike the one with Knight, included a gag order prohibiting the LaGrange Park men from speaking to any member of the media about the lawsuit.