Brookfield settles lawsuit against police officers

Village paid $117,500 to man who claimed excessive force

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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.

Email: Twitter: @RBLandmark

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Joan Price from brookfield  

Posted: May 21st, 2017 3:37 PM

I know first hand the reckless disregard the Brookfield Police have for some people. I am a 79 year old female and have lived in Brookfield for 34 years. I have never had a problem in my entire life with a neighbor. That is until the neighbor from hell moved in next door to me. He and his girlfriend partied around the clock with 50 friends or more nightly. These are duplexes with tiny yards. He started a restaurant in the back yard. Fires and cooking all night long. He tore my fence up hitting it with a truck. He repeatedly attempted to poison my dog. He sprayed my composite deck with oil ruining it. He shot out my out door lights and sprayed all my roses with weed killer. I called the police and they would do NOTHING. Saying that I had not seen him and the girlfriend do any of these things. I went into the hospital for surgery. The day I came home he was having a party on my front lawn. I was too ill to object. Because I looked out my window he called the police and said I had called him a racial slur. I had called him Nothing. I was too terrified to say a word to him. The police came and charged me with calling him nasty names. I was dragged through the courts. I had not said a word to him. I wish now I had sued the police as they did nothing to protect me. I was too ill as the court proceedings took every thing out of me. The Brookfield court found me guilty. I took my case to Maywood and won my case through appeal. These was a total miscarriage of Justice and the Brookfield police did not do their job. They knew I was ill and had done nothing to these people. Yes ...Brookfield police do not always do their job.

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