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May 25, 2012

Two years after beatings, grad student and alum await closure

Two years after allegedly getting assaulted by three Chicago police officers, Matthew Clark (Ph.D. ’06) and Ph.D. candidate [see note] identified two of their assailants last June, but their efforts to determine the third man continue to be a struggle.

The two men claim that on February 7, 2010, they were assaulted by three plainclothes Chicago Police (CPD) officers in the parking lot of Arturo’s Tacos on Western Avenue and Armitage Avenue. Angelique Casey-Martinez, a police officer in the city’s 14th district, and Michael Mannott, part of a tactical drug unit near where the incident took place, have been identified as two of the officers involved in the altercation. Both have been named as co-defendants in a civil suit that [see note] and Clark have filed against the city.

In a deposition, Casey-Martinez denied all allegations against her. Mannott, who is Casey-Martinez’s ex-husband, will be deposed on Wednesday. [see note] says that both officers have refused to identify the third officer involved.

Casey-Martinez has been named a co-defendant in a similar case filed by a woman who claimed that Casey-Martinez and six other police officers arrested her without probable cause.

Last March, Clark and [see note] held a press conference releasing surveillance camera footage of the assault and announcing a toll-free hotline with an award of $10,000 for information leading to the identification of the officers.

Since then, [see note] and Clark say that they have received several promising tips regarding the identity of the third officer, including one from an anonymous Arturo’s Tacos employee in April. The employee said that the restaurant’s manager, Sonia Sorto, knew the police officers involved in the fight, and instructed waitresses not to say anything about the incident.

[See note] and Clark have attended deposition hearings, where they came face to face with Casey-Martinez.

“Superficially, at her deposition, she looked different from the night of the incident. But her face was her face. Some things you can’t change. Her reaction to me when she saw me was that she was not at all expecting me to be there,” [see note] said.

In addition to working with the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and CPD, Clark and [see note] reached out to Agent Brad Elder of the FBI in January about their case. Elder assured them that their case had a 90 to 95 percent chance of getting picked up, but they never heard back from the agency.

Despite the time it has taken to identify the police officers, [see note] said that he will not give up on the case.

“What happened to me and [see note] has been so powerful that we just cannot forget,” Clark said.

Note: Some identifying information was removed from this article.

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