The family of a 19-year-old man who was shot dead by Chicago Police in August filed a federal lawsuit against the city Wednesday, saying it’s the only way they’ll be able to find out the truth about how Roshad McIntosh died.
McIntosh was killed by police in the North Lawndale neighborhood on Aug. 24, after police say he pointed a gun at officers who were responding to a call of armed men.
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But McIntosh’s mother, Cynthia Lane, says neither police nor the Independent Police Review Authority have told her anything about her son’s death in the nearly seven months since he was killed. She has consistently disputed authorities’ version of events, previously led a march on City Hall and has become a face of protests against police brutality.
“I just want to know the name of the officer who killed my son,” she said, sobbing during a press conference Wednesday morning. “I think I have a right to know something about the killing of my son.”
McIntosh’s family and their lawyers at the People’s Law Office say that although McIntosh initially fled the cops in the 2800 block of Polk, he had surrendered and was unarmed when he was killed.
Though police say McIntosh’s gun was recovered from the scene, attorney Sarah Gelsomino said that “community members” who witnessed his death say he was unarmed at the time.
Cynthia Lane listens to speakers Wednesday at the Dirksen Federal Building about her lawsuit with support from her daughter, Destiny (left), and sister Cynetha Hendrix in Chicago. | Kevin Tanaka/For Sun-Times Media
A wrongful-death lawsuit filed Wednesday in the name of McIntosh’s 3-year-old son alleges that the City of Chicago is responsible for “unlawful policies and practices” which led to McIntosh’s death and the “unjustified police shootings of other black men in Chicago.”
Officers involved in shootings are not properly investigated and are shielded by a police code of silence, the suit alleges. McIntosh’s lawyers say that data show that over the last decade, black Chicagoans were 10 times more likely to be shot by Chicago Police officers than white Chicagoans.
While allegations in federal “policy and practices” lawsuits are typically hard to prove, a jury verdict in favor of barmaid Karolina Obrycka in 2012 found that off-duty cop Anthony Abbate beat her up in part because he believed he would be protected by a police code of silence.
Chicago Police did not respond to a request for comment on the McIntosh lawsuit.