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Alleged Police Assault on Autistic Teen Leads to Lawsuit

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By Minara El-Rahman on December 10, 2009 12:10 PM

The Chicago Tribune reports that the family of autistic teen Oscar Guzman filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago, the Chicago Police Dept., and the Independent Police Review Authority which is agency that handles complaints against the Chicago Police Dept. The lawsuit was filed after an alleged police assault on the autistic teen back in April 2009.

The family claims that Oscar Guzman was hit on the head by a Chicago police officer after two police officers chased Mr. Guzman into his family's restaurant in Little Village. As a result of the alleged police assault, the family claims that Mr. Guzman has night terrors and fears law enforcement in general.

The lawsuit also claims that Mr. Guzman's older sister was threatened with arrest when she asked police officers what their motivation was in attacking her little brother.

The Chicago Tribune obtained a copy of the police report of the incident. They quote it as saying that police officers were on "aggressive patrol" because Little Village is an area of "high gang activity."

Mr. Guzman was standing outside of the family restaurant taking a break when police officers pursued him because he "motioned toward his waistband and fled." The police report never mentions why Mr. Guzman was being monitored by police. While the police hit Mr. Guzman on the head, his family kept telling the police officer that he was a teenager with special needs.

The defendants named in the lawsuit claim that they can not comment on the pending litigation because they have not received the complaint yet.

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