Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans not guilty of aggravated battery, misconduct

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police commander accused of shoving his gun down a suspect's throat during questioning in 2013 was found not guilty in a bench trial.

Commander Glenn Evans, 52, was found not guilty of aggravated battery and official misconduct on Monday morning.

There were two key elements to this case: one was science, DNA found on police Cmdr. Evans' gun. The other was the credibility of the young man who made the claim that Evans shoved the gun down in throat. The judge concluded that the DNA could be explained by lawful contact, and that Williams' testimony "taxes the gullibility of the credulous."

"Over here. Look, over here!" Evans said as he arrived at court Monday with some running back moves. The camera dodge was largely in jest; he would later hug his attorney and smile after being found not guilty of all charges.

Judge Diane Cannon, who heard this case as a bench trial found that now Rickey Williams, 25, who claimed that the former commander shoved a gun down his throat was simply not to be believed. He couldn't remember basic information, and was eager to change his testimony to suit the evidence.

"His testimony was - as the Supreme Court stated in People vs. Puolson, unreasonable, improbable and contrary to the human experience," Cannon said.

The judge said the fact that Williams' DNA was found on the commander's gun could have come from lawful contact during the arrest: cuffing, transfer by touch.

Evans' attorneys say there was never a gun down the throat, and the case never should have been brought.

"Whatever happened today - which was a wonderful thing, and he is fully vindicated, he can never get back the last two years - ever," said Laura Morask, Evans' attorney.

Evans left the courthouse with no comment, surrounded by blocking guards.

In a statement later released to Chicago Police officer and writer Martin Preib, Evans says the charges were "part of a pattern of retaliation" going back 28 years to the Madison Hobley arson murder investigation. Evans had argued against Hobley receiving money in a wrongful conviction case, saying "...I have been held in the crosshairs of this movement ...ever since."

The criminal case is over, but Williams is suing Evans in federal court.

"Rickey will get his day in court in a federal civil rights lawsuit pending, and there will be a jury trial," said Stephan Blandin, Williams' attorney.

In a written statement, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said she stands strongly behind the decision to charge Evans, and that it's tough to convince judges and juries in Cook County of police misconduct.

Former Cmdr. Evans has been on a no-pay status since he was criminally charged. Now, the Independent Police Review Authority will resume its administrative investigation of the incident involving Evans and Rickey Williams three years ago.

Evans is a highly-decorated Chicago police officer who has also been the subject of more than four dozen citizen complaints in his 28 years of service.
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