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Man who claims civil rights were violated at Gay Pride Fest settles with city

A Des Plaines man sued Chicago over his treatment by police during a Pride-related event the week before the 2015 parade. | James Foster/for Sun-Times Media

A man who claimed his civil rights were violated when he was pepper-sprayed and dragged from his vehicle three years ago during the Gay Pride Fest in Boystown has settled his lawsuit with the city.

The case, which was settled mid-trial, was being heard at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

“He’s pleased,” attorney Kellie Walters said of her client, Matthew Mallett. “More than anything, he seems content he was able to get his story out.”

Walters declined to discuss the terms of the settlement, reached Tuesday night.

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department said the case was settled for $16,000.

Bill McCaffrey, spokesman for the law department, said the settlement was “in the best interest of taxpayers, and under the terms of the agreement, the City does not admit to any wrongdoing. While we felt we had strong arguments and deny the officers used excessive force or targeted him due to his sexuality, the settlement eliminates the risk of a larger award being granted by a jury as well as the cost of any future legal action.”

Mallett was passed out drunk in the rear seat of his car — and wearing only a Speedo — when, he claimed, police pepper-sprayed him and dragged him out of the car.

Mallett alleged officers used excessive force and targeted him for being gay.