Glenview, Chicago police officers accused of lying in court face new suit

April 17, 2014 (CHICAGO)

The five officers are accused of lying about a traffic stop and drug arrest. Dashboard camera video was key in the case and will likely be in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges one of the officers, before the arrest, ordered all dash cams be turned off. But one camera was left on, and the video would contradict the officers' testimony.

Police dash cam video shows officers putting Joseph Sperling in handcuffs and violating, he says, his constitutional rights.

"If it could happen to me, it can honestly happen to anybody. And I just happen to be one of the lucky few that has a video that proves that they were wrong," said Sperling.

The five officers involved in the June arrest, two from Glenview police and three from Chicago, are now being investigated by the Cook County State's Attorney's office for allegedly lying about how Sperling was arrested.

"If the police want to make a case proving drug crimes, proving responsibility, they have to follow the law. And they can't lie," said Jon Loevy, Sperling's attorney.

The five officers all told the same story in court: that they pulled Sperling over for a traffic violation and that he agreed to a search.

"According to them, they then took Joe to the back, searched the car with his permission, according to the police, whereupon they saw the drugs lying in plain view," said Loevy.

But the lawsuit alleges the officers were unaware of this Glenview police dash cam video, which appears to show Sperling immediately being arrested, before any search is performed.

"In America, you have a right not to be searched unless you have probable cause. They can't just walk up to you, arrest you, and say hey, maybe you got drugs. Maybe we'll find them," said Loevy.

Sperling admitted there were hidden drugs in his vehicle, but when the video came to light, Cook County Judge Catherine Haberkorn dismissed the charges against him, saying at a hearing last month: "All officers lied on the stand today. The evidence that's been submitted is directly contrary to their testimony."

Sperling has now filed a federal lawsuit.

"You can't just operate outside the law and say whatever you want to say and get away with it," said Sperling.

Eyewitness News was unable to reach anyone at Glenview police Thursday night for comment on the lawsuit. But the department has said its two officers involved in the arrest are on paid administrative leave pending the state's attorney's investigation.

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