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Johnson & Bell Shareholders, William G. Beatty and Brian P. Gainer, successfully defended a Chicago Police Officer in a case involving charges of civil rights violations (under Section 1983), a statutory “hate crime”, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  In this federal court case, the plaintiff, who worked as a “bouncer” in a Chicago bar, claimed that the off-duty police officer either instigated or escalated a bar fight in which the plaintiff claims to have sustained serious and permanent injuries by the police officer’s actions.  In addition, plaintiff claimed the police officer used racial slurs against him.  After a number of pleading attempts by the plaintiff, Judge John Tharp ruled that there was insufficient evidence to find that the officer was acting under “color of law” at the time of the occurrence. Judge Tharp dismissed the federal civil rights claim with prejudice.  The pendent state law claims were also dismissed, but with the possibility that they may be re-filed in state court at a future time.

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