Lawsuit Filed against City over Police Chase that Killed 2 Robbery Suspects

The family of one of two robbery suspects killed when police collided with their fleeing car has filed a lawsuit against a Chicago police officer they say recklessly caused the death of the man.

Ronald Arrington, 22, and Jimmy Malone, 26, died after leading state and city police on a high-speed chase that began with a robbery at an Arby’s in Tinley Park and ended in a violent crash in a block of homes in the West Pullman neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

Two police officers were also injured in the July 1 crash.

Arrington’s mother, Juanita Arrington, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Wednesday against the city of Chicago and Officer Dean W. Ewing, alleging “willful and wanton negligence.”

Ewing was behind the wheel of an unmarked SUV that collided with the suspects’ gold Grand Prix near 124th Street and Union Avenue while responding to the chase.

“Officer Ewing accelerated his vehicle to the point where he traveled 30 to 50 mph above the speed limit,’’ the suit states. Ewing’s SUV “rammed” the Grand Prix and caused it to “overturn in a burst of dust and smoke.”

Ewing “engaged in willful and wanton negligence by speeding in a residential neighborhood, pursuing the car over an extended distance and time, creating an increased risk of danger to the public and passengers in the gold Grand Prix,” the suit contends.

Ewing “failed to abandon’’ the chase when circumstances warranted termination, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified dollar amount in damages.

Dashcam videos from several police cars captured the chase and crash.

The chase began on the off-ramp of Interstate 57 near 127th Street after a robbery at an Arby’s, police said.

A video from a state police car shows a gold car stopped on an off-ramp of Interstate 57 near 127th Street. A trooper repeatedly yells, “Step out! Step out! Step out!” But the car makes a U-turn and speeds off through a motel parking lot.

The chase continues through at least one red light, down an alley, across a vacant lot, barely missing a parked van, and then down a one-way street, where it collides with the police SUV in a burst of smoke and dust.

The car flips over and the SUV spins around. Both come to rest against a brick home on the corner of 124th Street and Union Avenue. A tire flies across the road.

“Oh sh–! Chicago, give me Fire!” a trooper yells into his radio as he pulls up to the scene. “CPD just got into a 10-50 with him! Get me Fire out here!” A 10-50 is a traffic accident.

The officer swears and shouts, “Are you guys all right? Get me Fire out here! I got three of these guys I think! CPD is injured, but they’re alive!”

In a dashcam video from another police car, two officers stumble out of the crashed SUV. One of them puts his head to the ground and rolls onto his back, his right hand clutching his forehead. The other lays on his back near the car and tries to sit up before lying down again.

At least one suspect is ordered onto the ground, and another is seen being handcuffed in the videos, which were released by the Independent Police Review Authority. Two other suspects, Arrington and Malone, were killed.

The suspects who survived were charged with robbery: Michael Cokes, 26, of Alsip, and Isiah Stevenson, 24, of Matteson.

As of mid-October, Cokes and Stevenson both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft charges, according to the Will County clerk’s website.

Autopsies determined Arrington and Malone, 26, of the 12400 block of South Union Avenue in Chicago, died of multiple injuries from a motor vehicle collision and their deaths were ruled accidents, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Article Org: chicagotribune.com

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