Target: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Goal: Hold the officers implicated in the shooting and attempted cover-up accountable for their human rights violations
After calling police during a robbery, a Chicago store owner was shot eleven times, handcuffed to his hospital bed, and then harassed by detectives trying to cover up the Chicago Police Department (CPD)’s ‘gross misconduct.’ Bassil Abdelal, the owner of B&B Beauty Supply, recently filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago and the two officers who shot him without warning or provocation. According to court documents, the CPD and two officers directly involved face charges of excessive force, false imprisonment, assault and battery, wanton conduct, conspiracy, civil rights violations, and negligence.
Around the time of the shooting, Abdelal was in the process of closing his store. A man approached, however, asking if he could make a last-minute purchase. When Abdelal attempted to hand the man the merchandise without letting him inside, the man ran off. Shortly afterward, the same man came back with two other masked men.
The men stormed the store. Abdelal and his father-in-law were now at gunpoint. The robbers demanded the money in the register. There was only $160 in the register, however, and the robbers demanded more. Abdelal told them that there was more money in the back of the store near the washroom. At that moment, one of the robber’s cell phones began to ring. Upon answering, the men learned police were on their way–a bystander had apparently called authorities from the Green Line CTA station. As the robbers ran out of the store, one of the men left their gun at the door. After grabbing the gun, Abdelal followed the robbers out to see which direction they made off to.
The police then entered the store’s parking lot. Abdelal immediately dropped the gun and attempted to explain to police which direction the robbers may have potentially ran off to. The following is Abdelal’s account of the disturbing events that then unfolded: “After the police saw [Abdelal] drop the gun to the floor, they opened fire at him and shot [him] in his leg. [Abdelal] ran back inside and was screaming, ‘Don’t shoot; I am the store owner.’ The police kept on shooting even when [Abdelal] was lying inside because [he] had been already been shot in the leg. At no time did the police ever warn the plaintiff to putt his hands up and/or lie on the ground or else they would shoot.”
Abdelal also claims that “the next morning at the hospital at 4:00 am…Chicago police came and handcuffed [him] to the bed [while he] was trying to rest from the pain from all the bullets lodged in his body.” Although Abdelal was heavily medicated and incoherent at the time, detectives ‘came back and forth’ to his hospital room, attempting to get a statement clearing the CPD of any wrongdoing.
Tell Rahm Emanuel that the frequent abuse, harassment, and cover-ups of CPD misconduct must come to an end. Bring the two officers who needlessly shot Abdelal — as well as the other law enforcement who attempted to cover up the incident — to justice.
Dear Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
A store owner on Chicago’s West Side, Bassil Abdelal, was shot by Chicago police eleven times after he contacted authorities following a robbery. Fortunately, he survived.
Once he was checked into the hospital, however, police handcuffed him to the bed and proceeded to harass the man for several days while he was medicated and incapacitated. Abdelal now has a permanent reminder of the CPD’s ‘gross misconduct’ in the form of metal screws in his leg.
The actions of the CPD are unconscionable. Also, this is not an isolated case of CPD abuse and harassment. It’s about time for your administration to address the CPD’s incompetence and frequent abuse.
The gross misconduct of the officers involved and subsequent cover up reflects a broader culture of violence within the CPD that is both disturbing and outrageous. Please seek reform; attempt to put an end to the string of violence, abuse, and harassment perpetuated by the CPD.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons