A Maywood resident has filed a federal complaint against several villages and police officers — including Forest Park — alleging that police used excessive force to maliciously arrest and charge him about two years ago.
On March 30, 2017, plaintiff Wayne Edwards sat as a passenger in a vehicle that made an illegal U-turn out of a parking lot on the 1400 block of West Roosevelt Road in Broadview, according to a suit filed in Northern District Court-Eastern Division on March 29.
Broadview police Officer Beata Grzymkowska followed the vehicle for several blocks before curbing it near the intersection of 5th Avenue and East Roosevelt Road in Maywood, according to the suit. She checked the driver’s ID and then, “without cause or provocation,” requested Edwards’ ID, the complaint said. When he asked why she needed to see his identification, Grzymkowska refused to give a reason, according to the suit.
The complaint states that Edwards gave the officer his ID. Grzymkowska allegedly then claimed to smell cannabis in the vehicle and demanded Edwards step out of the car to be searched. Edwards said he did not have any drugs but got out of the car, placed his hands on the back of the vehicle and was searched by Grzymkowska, according to the complaint. No drugs were found on Edwards, according to the suit. At some point, the suit said two other Broadview officers — Jose Santos and Ryan Schiever — and an unnamed Maywood officer arrived on the scene.
A K9 use report from the Forest Park Police Department said Officer Daniel Miller also “overheard via radio traffic, Broadview officers were fighting with an offender” in Maywood and requesting back-up. When Miller arrived, the report said he smelled cannabis inside the vehicle and that Broadview officers requested Miller deploy the canine inside the Chevy to search for narcotics.
The dog found multiple cannabis “roaches” inside an ashtray, according to the K9 report. It refers to a Broadview police report for further information. Broadview police did not respond to requests for the corresponding report or an interview.
The lawsuit states that officers never searched the vehicle or driver.
According to the complaint, police told Edwards to lie on the ground but he “explained that he could not lie down on the ground because he had recently been in an accident and was recovering from a back injury.” The lawsuit states that Grzymkowska threatened to use her taser if he did not get on the ground. Other officers then restrained Edwards’ arms and legs and placed him on the ground and held him down, according to the complaint.
“After he had been restrained, Defendant K9 Officer Miller let his K9 out of the car and used the dog in an unreasonable manner to intimidate, scare and threaten the plaintiff into believing he was about to be attacked by a large, vicious dog,” the suit states.
Police then put Edwards in the squad car and “conferred with one another … to come up with a false justification for [Edwards’] arrest,” according to the complaint. They searched the vehicle but didn’t find any drugs, according to the suit. Edwards was then transported to the police station where he requested but was denied medical attention for injuries he received during arrest, according to the complaint.
He was detained at the station “without cause or justification” as Broadview police and supervisors Jorge Sanchez and Alexander MacDougall “conspired together to explain why they had arrested the plaintiff without cause or justification.” After he got out of the police station, Edwards went to the hospital to be treated for injuries to his neck and elsewhere, according to the complaint.
He received a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest. Maywood Judge Ann Collins found him not guilty in a bench trial in June 2018, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“As a result of the above events, the plaintiff suffered emotional, physical and pecuniary damages,” the complaint states.
Edwards is accusing police officers from, and the villages of, Forest Park, Broadview and Maywood of false arrest, excessive force/failure to prevent excessive force, malicious prosecution and supervisory liability. He is represented by the Willowbrook-based Dvorak Law Offices, which is demanding a jury trial.
He seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs and all other relief deemed just.
Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley said that, because he has not yet been served the lawsuit, he was unable to comment on the case. Maywood police said there was no police report that corresponds to the alleged incident.
Forest Park Village Administrator Tim Gillian declined to comment on ongoing litigation.
This is not the first time Forest Park Officer Daniel Miller has been named in a suit.
In February 2017, Miller fatally shot a Glendale Heights man driving a stolen car. The family of victim Marco Gomez is alleging in district court that the village failed to properly train officers like Miller, encouraged excessive force, and failed to discipline officers “who engage in unjustified shootings.” The village denies all these claims and is fighting the case.
In October 2012, a federal court jury also ruled that Miller used excessive force, after he zapped an off-duty Chicago police officer several times with a stun gun, and tased him three times, during an arrest at a local bar in 2008.