Lawsuit claims excessive force by cops who shot burglars in minivan

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Two men who survived a hail of Chicago Police gunfire when the minivan they were in barreled through the garage door of a Southwest Side electronics store they were later convicted of burglarizing have filed an excessive force lawsuit against the city.

The driver, 27-year-old David Strong, died at a hospital after being shot in the head, authorities said at the time. His mother, Bernice Strong, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court along with Leland Dudley and John Givens, the 37-year-old men in the van who were wounded in the shooting.

The Independent Police Review Authority released footage and reports from the April 30, 2012, shooting along with those of more than a hundred other police misconduct investigations in a massive June news dump.

Officers responding to a call of a burglary in progress about 3 a.m. saw three men loading merchandise into a company minivan at Mike’s Electronics, 2459 S. Western Ave., police reports show.

Surveillance video shows about a dozen officers surrounding the building before a Chrysler Town and Country rams through the garage door. The minivan stops soon after as several officers open fire, including one who can be seen reloading his gun about eight seconds after the crash.

One officer, Michael Papin, was hit by the vehicle and taken to a hospital with minor injuries, reports show.

The suit claims none of the men in the van had a weapon, and that Strong did not try to run down the officers. Police fired more than 70 rounds at them “when the officers had no justification for the use of deadly force,” according to the suit, which claims the van was not “likely to cause great bodily harm to them.”

A spokesman for the city’s law department said the suit had not been served as of Wednesday evening and declined to comment.

Dudley and Givens were convicted following a two-day jury trial in May 2015 of aggravated battery of a peace officer, burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to Cook County Circuit Court records. They were also convicted of murder for Strong’s death in the commission of a felony.

Dudley is serving a 25-year sentence at the downstate Pinckneyville Correctional Center along with Givens, who received 20 years.

The men initially filed a civil suit months after the shooting, but that case was dismissed last November, records show. The three-count suit filed Tuesday seeks more than $150,000 in damages.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

More Stories You May Be Interested In - includes Advertiser Stories