The lawsuit has just been filed. Representatives of the villages of Forest Park and Oak Park say they have yet to see the suit or that they won’t comment on any lawsuit or that the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit is continuing its investigation.
All responses we’d expect. That we are 11 months out from the death of Dajuan Gates ought to create a sense of urgency in understanding and acknowledging what happened to this 27-year-old Chicago man after he failed to make a complete stop at a Forest Park intersection.
His attorney acknowledges that Gates took off on foot. Police reports confirm that he was apprehended a few moments later by Oak Park officers at Madison and Maple, just 60 feet outside the ER at Rush Oak Park Hospital. Gates was cuffed and positioned on the curb with multiple officers observing.
Dashcam video and audio released by Gates’ lawyer shows portions of what happened over the next 20 minutes. There were no bodycams in use. It appears Gates was having a reaction to drugs in his system. Finally, after putting Gates in a squad car, officers drove the quarter block to the ER’s ambulance entrance.
Gates wound up on life support and died the following day.
The state police investigation needs to have an end date and a public reporting mechanism. The lawsuit will move slowly forward. We need to understand what happened to Mr. Gates, what actions our officers took and did not take to protect a suspect in their custody.