Unarmed man shot in the back by police sues City

Chicago police shot nearly twice as many people as New York City cops did in 2012, despite having one-third the population

A new suit filed in federal court late yesterday charges that Chicago police shot an unarmed man in the back in April of last year, and then lied to cover up their misconduct by falsely claiming he had a gun and attempting to have him charged with felonies. 

According to his attorneys, the proposed felony charges against 36-year-old Ortiz Glaze were so apparently unfounded that, in a rare move, they were rejected by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Glaze’s attorneys say the case highlights a continuing problem of unjustified police shootings in the city.  On a per capita basis in 2012, Chicago police shot about six times as many people as New York City police, according to reports by both departments.

Glaze’s case is also the second federal case here in as many weeks alleging Chicago police perjury.  Both cases were brought by lawyers at Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law.

On April 30, 2013, Mr. Glaze spent the afternoon and evening helping to host a cook-out and gathering in the city’s South Chicago neighborhood to celebrate the life of a friend who had died several weeks earlier.  The attendees included young children, senior citizens and others who knew the deceased through his church.

At about 9 PM three police cars carrying armed officers in bullet-proof vests pulled up on the gathering.  One of the officers, Jeffrey Jones, fired a shot into the air, causing the group to begin dispersing.  Startled by the commotion, Glaze began running away and Officers Jones and Louis Garcia gave chase.  They shot at him at least ten times from behind, hitting Glaze in his arm and thigh and causing him to fall to the ground.

When Officer Garcia searched Mr. Glaze immediately after the shooting, he found no weapon of any sort.  None of the officers saw Mr. Glaze throw or drop a weapon at any point during their encounter with him, nor was Mr. Glaze wearing any bulky clothing that could conceal a weapon, nor was any weapon found in the vicinity.

Glaze said that at the time of his arrest, he had a few hundred dollars cash on him, but when he was eventually released from custody, the evidence inventory form listed only $8 in singles.  Police theft from civilians has been an on-going problem for Chicago where, according to a January 2013 University of Illinois study, “47 Chicago law enforcement officers were convicted of drug and gang related crimes” since 2000.  “Toleration of corruption, or at least resigned acceptance, appears to be the order of the day for at least the past 50 years,” the report said.

Glaze was among 43 people shot by Chicago Police in 2013. His suit charges that “The number of shootings by Chicago Police Department officers has been unjustifiably high for years…. Seventy-five percent of those shot by CPD officers between 2009 and 2013 have been black, with black residents over ten times more likely to be shot than white residents.”

A copy of the suit is available here: Ortiz Glaze v. City of Chicago, et al.

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