Maywood Settles $60K For Excessive Force Lawsuit

Thursday, March 8, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a regular meeting on March 6, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to authorize a $60,000 settlement in relation to a lawsuit filed in 2015 alleging unlawful seizure and excessive force by Maywood police officers.

The lawsuit, filed by Andre Thomas on Nov. 9, 2015 in Cook County Circuit Court, names Maywood Police Officers Brian Daniels and Ilir Shemitraku.

Thomas claims that on Nov. 10, 2014, while standing outside of a relative’s apartment building near 4th Avenue and Madison Street in Maywood, he was approached by Daniels, “who told him to leave the area,” according to a March 1 memo drafted by Jason Guisinger, an attorney with the village’s law firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins.

“The Plaintiff and his friends turned to walk away when Officer Daniels grabbed him from behind and grabbed him by his pants,” Guisinger writes.

After turning around to see who was grabbing him, Thomas claims that Daniels allegedly pulled out his nightstick and told him “we have to make an example out of you,” before striking Thomas in the head with the nightstick and throwing him to the ground.

“Officer Daniels and at least two other Maywood Police officers began punching and kicking Plaintiff until he was finally cuffed, arrested and charged with resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer,” the memo states.

Thomas, who eventually went to trial and was found “not guilty of the criminal charges,” sustained “a concussion and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome as a result of the incident. He also claims a shoulder injury as a result of the incident.”

Thomas also filed claims of “false arrest, battery and malicious prosecution” against the village in state courts.

Thomas’s attorney had initially demanded $200,000 from the village, but “due to certain negative facts in this case,” Guisinger stated, “we recommended and received settlement authority in the amount of $70,000” before the board authorized the final $60,000 amount.

In addition to the payment, the authorization also triggers the lawsuit’s dismissal. The settlement is not “admission or evidence of any wrongdoing or liability” by the village, the police officers or the plaintiff, according to the language of the settlement agreement.

Guisinger added, however, that Officer Daniels “has been a defendant in four excessive force cases in the last two years.”

The attorney wrote that KTJ would “be communicating with [Maywood Village Manager Willie] Norfleet and [Maywood Police Chief] Valdimir Talley in regard to possible discipline and training of Officer Daniels.” VFP

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6 thoughts on “Maywood Settles $60K For Excessive Force Lawsuit”

  1. Once again, this $60,000 police settlement is coming out of the taxpayers’ in the village of Maywood! The residents of Maywood need to attend the next village board meeting, and do a citizens’ comment and address this police settlement. It is unacceptable that the trustees voted this settlement, and the $60,000 could have been used to fix the roads on Washington Blvd. between 19th Ave. and 9th Ave.

    Also, I don’t understand why Mayor Perkins, Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. is not putting pressure on Maywood Police Chief Talley about disciplining the Maywood Police Department about this.

    Maywood needs to stop the status quo of their village!

  2. We are not holding our village officials responsible for these lawsuits. I never seen this many lawsuits in my 60 years of living in the village, it’s time to change the leadership. The village has a hiring procedure an these officers are being hired an costing the village large sums of money, but who is loosing is the citizens in two ways. The officers violate our citizens rights for one, then the citizens pays for these officers conduct thru our increase of taxes. The officers been involved in several suits, but this one brings discipline. People heads need to start rolling for these type of actions. I look back in the village press and noticed lawsuits settlements from officers killing citizens and dogs to officers to violating citizens civil rights maliciously, this must not continue. Thank you village free press for reporting this business.

    1. VON: I too applaud “The Village Free Press” for sharing this story to the residents of Maywood and the Proviso Township, Von. The Village Free Press is a breath of fresh air in the local newspaper since the “Maywood Herald” newspaper era.

      But…it is like a norm with all the police settlements, that is taking taxpayers’ dollars out. I’m very disturbed that Mayor Perkins and Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. is not putting pressure on Maywood Police Chief Talley of some accountability. I also recall reading an article that the Maywood Police Department do not trust the leadership of Chief Talley. If you don’t believe me, here is the article:

      The article is titled, “Police Union Issues Vote Of No Confidence In Maywood Police Chief.” Please share and you will be very surprised.

    1. LEGAL EAGLES: That’s so true! But, there should also be police community by talking to the residents and building a positive relationship.

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