Family of Dexter Reed, who was shot, killed by Chicago police, files federal civil rights lawsuit

Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Family of Dexter Reed, killed in CPD shooting, files civil rights suit
The family of a man, who Chicago police fatally shot during a traffic stop, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of a man, who Chicago police fatally shot during a traffic stop, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Reed's mother, during a news conference Wednesday morning outside the Chicago Police Station on West Harrison Street, said her son was "unlawfully pulled over."

The lawsuit accuses Chicago police of promoting "brutally violent, militarized policing tactics" and argues that the five officers who pulled Reed over "created an environment that directly resulted in his death."

"Dexter Reed is not alive today because of the actions of these officers and the inaction of the city of Chicago," attorney Andrew Stroth said.

In the March 21 traffic stop, a team of five tactical officers in plain clothes stopped the 26-year-old for an alleged seatbelt violation.

ABC7 Chicago obtained a memo written by the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability chief administrator and sent to the Chicago police superintendent.

COPA questioned the validity of the traffic stop, asking how officers could have seen Reed without a seatbelt through opaque dark-tinted windows.

"Tactical teams should not be able to box cars in and do jump outs like it's a robbery. It's scary, and everyone else is scared of it," Reed's sister Porscha Banks said.

Police and COPA said Reed appeared to fire first.

Bodycam video shows the stop unfold, as there were 96 rapidly fired gunshots in the span of 41 seconds.

An officer was shot in the wrist. Reed died at the hospital.

Reed's family claims he became confused as officers surrounded his SUV.

The lawsuit, which is against the city and the five officers involved, said Reed was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, which affected his ability to process information.

RELATED: Chicago police officers fired about 96 times over 41 seconds, killing Dexter Reed: VIDEO

COPA released bodycam video Tuesday of a police-involved Chicago shooting that killed Dexter Reed in Garfield Park.

It contends officers should have been aware, and should have used restraint.

"I want people who are listening to pray for this family, but for the change that we seek. It may be you or I next," said Cameron Barnes, national youth director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

The suit also said the city's low compliance to make changes after a federal consent decree contributed to the circumstances of Reed's death.

"The federal complaint we filed today does not just focus on the actions of the individual officers. Instead, it hold city of Chicago accountable for the ongoing pervasive policy and practice failures," said Sheila Bedi, with Northwestern's Community Justice & Civil Rights Clinic.

On Wednesday morning, Reed's mother, father and attorneys spoke.

"My son, he didn't deserve none of that. They shot him down like he was an animal. They shot him three times in the back after he laid down," Dexter Reed Sr. said. "That's overkill."

The news conference the family spoke at Wednesday was held outside the 11th District Police Headquarters on the West Side, where the officers involved are based.

"They executed him. He fell down, and they put the handcuffs on him. That was not right," Reed's mother Nicole Banks said.

The lawsuit cites what it calls a long and troubling history of tactical units, preying on young Black men in low-income neighborhoods.

"He was the subject of a vicious, aggressive, escalating policy and procedure executed by a tactical unit with the Chicago Police Department," attorney Steven Hart said.

The family asked the city to disband them.

"At a loss for words, I'm hurt right now, just asking to pray for my family to help us get through this matter," Reed Sr. said.

The officers involved are on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.

The city said they don't comment on pending litigation.