Lawsuit: Police covered up excessive force against man

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – A lawsuit accuses police of covering up excessive force against a Champaign man.

The suit, filed by Chicago law firm Nathan & Kamionski LLP on May 23, says 62-year-old Alton Corey was recovering at home on the night of Oct. 17, 2017, after going to the hospital for a heart procedure. Police then came to Corey’s apartment later that night.

A police report says a woman called officers to the area, telling them Corey threw things she owned in the hallway and battered her. Officers say Corey tried to close to the door on them, then calmed down after they asked to hear what happened. The report says he raised his voice again, then batted away an officer’s arm when one of them asked him to look at them.

Police say Corey then charged them with his hands up before they grabbed him and tried to take him to the ground for an arrest. They say Alton’s momentum, combined with the narrow hallway and officers pulling Corey toward them, caused him to hit a door on the opposite side of the hall face first.

Corey’s lawyers said police used “an incredible amount of force”, calling it “unreasonable”. They say the actions of police caused Corey to black out.

Police say they believe Corey was intoxicated on that night.

Full bodycam video of the encounter can be found at this link. The clips contain strong language and violence.

The lawsuit document from lawyers accuses police of agreeing at the scene and at headquarters to “falsely arrest” Corey and “make a false report” against him. Alton faced charges of aggravated battery and resisting arrest, which the complaint says prosecutors dropped after looking at bodycam video.

The city of Champaign sent a press release to media on Tuesday on the cover-up accusations, where they announced the public release of documents.

“The city’s legal department is reviewing the complaint and gathering all relevant information regarding the pending litigation,” said Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Bannon. “The city of Champaign and the Champaign Police Department take these allegations very seriously.”

Champaign leaders are asking for public patience as they review the case. PDF documents of the lawsuit and police reports can be found below.

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