Committee recommends $156K settlement in police beating

June 3, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The August 2011 incident was captured by cameras. Michael Ayala was closing up a liquor store near 48th and Archer when he says officers beat him and his brother, who was waiting for him outside.

The city finance committee recommended a $156,000 settlement in their civil case.

The full city council will vote on the measure Wednesday.

"I did not touch them. I did not spit at them. I was handcuffed," Ayala said.

Ayala, the father of two claims, when he asked officers to stop their assault, they beat them more.

"When I was telling them... 'Can you please stop doing that to my brother?' As I said that, the cop goes around and he hits me a couple times," said Ayala.

Security camera video posted on YouTube doesn't show that, but it does appear to show more than a dozen officers wrestling the brothers to the ground inside the store where they had been working.

The officers involved in the alleged brutality were based out of the 8th District.

The then-23-year-old store manager says the attack happened around 1 a.m. as he and his 18-year-old brother, Adrian, closed up after finishing inventory at the 7-9-11 Food and Liquor Store where the older Ayala has worked for about three years.

Michael Ayala says as he grabbed his keys from inside while his brother waited outside by his bike, about a dozen officers arrived and mistook them for robbers.

The brothers say even after the store's owner verified their identities to police, the cops punched and kicked them when Ayala promised not to let the incident go unreported.

"They pushed me into [a window]. My head and body hit. That's when my brother intervened," said Michael Ayala. "If this happens with those 15 cops, imagine how many other corrupt ones there are."

Both men were charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct after officers say the men verbally threatened them, a charge the brothers deny.

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