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2nd lawsuit filed against city in fatal West Pullman police chase

Police investigate a car crash at the corner of 123rd and Union. | Leslie Adkins/For the Sun-Times

The family of a robbery suspect killed last summer when a Far South Side police chase ended in a crash is suing the city and the Chicago Police officer who they say should have abandoned the pursuit before it turned deadly.

Ronald Arrington, 22, died at a hospital hours after the July 1 wreck, which a relative alleges happened when an officer “rammed” his unmarked police SUV into the car Arrington was in at 124th Street and Union, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The chase started after an Arby’s manager was robbed outside the restaurant in southwest suburban Tinley Park. State troopers spotted the suspects’ gold car on Interstate 57, and Chicago Police joined the chase as it went off the highway and into the West Pullman neighborhood.

A CPD officer tailed the car at nearly 50 mph over the speed limit before slamming his SUV into it on a sidewalk, according to the suit, which says he “lost track of the location of the eluding vehicle” and violated CPD policy by not terminating the chase.

Arrington and 26-year-old Jimmy Malone died at hospitals after being pulled from the wreckage of the gold car, authorities said. Arrington was riding as a passenger, the suit says.

Two other south suburban men in the car with Arrington, 26-year-old Michael Cokes and 25-year-old Isiah Stevenson, later were convicted of theft in Will County and sentenced to two years in prison. They filed a lawsuit against the city last December, a case that is still pending.

A spokesman for the city’s law department said Wednesday that Arrington’s suit had not been served and declined to comment. The officer listed as a defendant — one of four police officers who were hospitalized after the crash — is still on the force, according to city payroll data.

The suit was filed by Juanita Arrington. She is named as the administrator of Ronald Arrington’s estate, but their relationship isn’t specified in the six-count wrongful death suit, which seeks an unspecified amount in damages.