Chicago Indymedia : http://chicago.indymedia.org/archive
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

Police Beat Witness in Tolliver Case

Frederick Rais, 19, one of seven witnesses who recanted their grand jury testimony in the Tolliver case, was beaten by Chicago Police detectives around 1:30pm Sunday in front of his building in Robert Taylor Homes.
Phone contact: Grant Newburger, (312) 502-2202

Frederick Rais, 19, one of seven witnesses who recanted their grand jury testimony in the Tolliver case, was beaten by Chicago Police detectives around 1:30pm Sunday in front of his building in Robert Taylor Homes.

Witnesses at the scene say that two Black men jumped out of a yellow cab, grabbed and began beating Frederick. Without identifying themselves as CPD detectives, the two men threw the teenager to the ground and kicked him in the stomach. One of the officers jumped on his back. Frederick was taken into custody, bleeding from the nose and mouth.

One woman who witnessed the beating said, "They threw him down and beat him like a dog. Hs nose was bleeding and he was passing blood from his mouth. They were stomping him in the stomach."

Another witness said, "They hurt that little brother real bad. He was handcuffed on the ground and he said 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe', and they just kept on kicking him in the stomach. Then they knocked on the janitor's door to get napkins to clean up the evidence. I told his mother to make sure and take him to the hospital because he was throwing up blood."

Mrs. Rais, his mother, rushed to the station when she heard her son had been beaten. "He [Frederick] told me they grabbed him. He didn't know who they were." She was only allowed to see him in the presence of "a whole gang of police and detectives."

The spokesperson for the Tolliver family, Willie Herron, said:
"This is outrageous. It is probably only the beginning. It's the first beating of a witness that we know of in the aftermath of the Tolliver trial."

Community residents feel statements made by Mayor Richard Daley and Police Superintendent Terry Hillard have contributed to an atmosphere of legitimizing this retaliation and intimidation of witnesses by the police. Residents of Robert Taylor report increased police harassment and abuse in the wake of the trial, including strip searches and warrantless searches.

This assault is the first direct attack against a witness in the wake of the trial. Federick testified in court that his grand jury testimony had been coerced by previous police beating and threats.

A statement prepared by Robert Taylor Fighting for Justice Organization read "We demand that that police keep their hands off the witnesses and stop intimidating the witnesses in the case of Jonathon Tolliver. No Retaliations!"

An activist from the Oct 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation asked "What kind of system is it that relies on police beatings to get confessions or testimony?"

The Tolliver Family has called on all concerned citizens to attend the March 15th sentencing hearing of Jonathon at Cook County Courthouse.

Notably, Sam Shipp has received numerous threats by phone in this same period. The public attacks by major city officials on Shipp may prevent future jurors from voting their conscience.

###
 
 

Donate

Views

Account Login

Media Centers

 

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software