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updated: 11/21/2012 9:03 AM

Carpentersville settles with man who accused cops of racism

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The village of Carpentersville will pay $50,000 to a Crystal Lake Latino man who said he was the victim of police brutality and racism during a 2011 traffic stop.

Johny Perez, 21, had filed suit against Carpentersville and members of its police force for at least $50,000 in damages, but that lawsuit was later dismissed, according to the village.

The village board on Tuesday signed off on an agreement that awarded Perez the money. In exchange for the settlement, Perez now cannot file a separate claim seeking compensation from the village, certain police officers, the village's insurance company and other parties.

The action came at the recommendation of the village's insurance company, which told officials that there was a financial benefit to settling the matter before it escalated.

"On occasion it's better to settle and, in the long run, save money for the village," Village President Ed Ritter said. "It was cheaper, faster and simpler for everyone to just go ahead and just settle this particular one."

In his original 12-count lawsuit filed in August, Perez alleged he was falsely arrested on March 16, 2011, and that Officer Alan Webb was abusive toward him during a traffic stop at Ball and Caddy avenues, just off Route 25.

He said Webb pushed him in the chest, causing him to stumble and fall onto his car. Webb then punched Perez twice in the face, kneed him in his side and punched him on the back of his head, according to the suit.

Other police officers held Perez while Webb attacked him, the lawsuit said. Afterward, Webb grabbed Perez by the collar, screamed at him for 10 seconds and called him a racial slur, the suit said. Perez was treated for bruises on his face and body at Centegra Hospital in McHenry and incurred $3,000 in medical bills, his suit stated.

Perez also accused Webb of lying in his subsequent police report to make it appear as though Perez was the aggressor.

According to court records, Perez was charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault to a police officer and resisting arrest.

The complaint, filed by Webb, accused Perez of pulling away, chest bumping the officer and refusing to put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed. Court records show prosecutors dismissed Perez's charges. Webb could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

In his lawsuit, Perez also alleged that the village's 2007 resolution to make English its official language gave police officers a license to discriminate against Spanish-speaking people.

Perez had been suing Carpentersville, Webb and unknown police officers before the lawsuit was dismissed a few months ago.

Webb faced disciplinary action at the time and remains on the force. Police Chief Alan Popp, who joined the department a year after the traffic stop, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night to discuss the scope of Webb's punishment.

By settling the lawsuit, the village and the police officers have not admitted to any wrongdoing, Village Attorney James Rhodes said.

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