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A year after murder charge dropped, man files federal suit against city, police

Sun-Times file photo

Nearly a year after prosecutors dropped a murder charge against him, a man is suing the city and several police officers in federal court over his arrest in a fatal shooting on a South Side basketball court.

Tororicius Berry filed the three-count lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court accusing the city, nine Chicago police officers and two detectives of false arrest and malicious prosecution, according to court documents.

A spokesman for the city did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

Berry was charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 16, 2017 shooting of 16-year-old Kejuan Thomas at Bradley Park in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood, the Chicago Sun-Times previously reported. Berry was ordered held without bail during a Sept. 1 bail hearing on the charge.

The state’s case against Berry was dropped seven days later, according to Cook County court records.

According to Berry’s suit, surveillance video showed he could not have committed the crime and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office dismissed the charges.

As a result of being arrested and charged, Berry suffered lost time, emotional distress, psychological injury, damage to his reputation and the loss of his constitutional rights and dignity, according to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.

Thomas was playing basketball about 4:30 p.m. when someone walked up to him and shot him in the head at close range, police and prosecutors said at the time.

A spokesman for police said the case remained open and no one else has been charged.