The altercation began as Butko, Ruben Vazquez and Shaun Meesak were crossing Clark Street at Leland Avenue after leaving a nearby bar on the early weekend morning they were nearly hit by the unmarked car, the suit said.
After Butko shouted and gestured, the two officers got out and ordered Vazquez and Meesak up against a fence, according to the suit.
One of the officers began punching Vazquez and Meesak in the face while another looked on without interceding, the suit alleged.
“The officers came out swinging, hit me in the face about a half a dozen times and said that I had flipped them off,” Vazquez said Thursday at a news conference in the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse.
During the encounter, Vazquez was allowed to leave, but officers continued to beat and choke Meesak, the suit alleged. “He choked me for a long time and I almost lost consciousness,” Meesak said about one of his alleged assailants.
Another officer approached Butko and threw him into a car, punching him repeatedly, the suit alleged. He was then handcuffed by the officer and punched several more times, according to the complaint.
As the men were being beaten, another victim, Derrick Peoples, stepped outside of the bar, saw his friends being assaulted and demanded that the officers stop, the suit alleged.
An officer threatened Peoples with arrest, he said, and he returned to the bar. The officer followed him into the bar, drew his gun and pointed it at Peoples’ face before dragging and pushing him out of the bar, the suit said.
Their lawyers said the victims, all in their late 20s, have no criminal history as adults, are employed and all but Vazquez are college graduates.