Cahokia police officer accused of beating man in back of patrol car

Andrea Dearden Oct. 21, 2010, 2:42am

A Cahokia police officer is accused of arresting a man without cause, beating him while he was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car and then falsifying a report as a cover-up.

Austin Hall makes the allegations in a lawsuit filed against Cahokia officer Sean Adams Oct. 5 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Hall says he was at the QuikTrip in Cahokia with his girlfriend on June 8. He says Officer Adams stopped at the store to get a drink then followed Hall and his girlfriend out of the parking lot.

Hall says Adams conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle and he complied. Then Hall says without provocation or any legal justification, Adams pulled him out of the vehicle and threw him into the back of the officer's patrol car.

Halls says he was handcuffed in the backseat when Adams climbed into the patrol car and began to "severely beat him about the head and face." Hall says other Cahokia police officers witnessed the situation but did not step in to help him. Those officers, listed as John Doe, Richard Roe and other unnamed involved officers, are named in the suit.

Hall claims Adams later tried to clean the cuts and scratches left from the alleged beating. In what he calls "an attempt to justify the unlawful detention and severe beating," Hall says Adams charged him with obstructing a police officer.

Hall accuses Adams of willful and wanton conduct, claiming the officer tried to cover up the improper arrest by fabricating a police report full of false information.

Following this incident, Hall says the Cahokia Police Department has continually harassed and threatened him and violated his constitutional rights under the Fourth and Eighth Amendment. The Cahoka Police Department and the Village of Cahokia are also named as defendants in the suit.

Hall is asking to be compensated for personal injury, pain and suffering, loss of freedom and the stigma surrounding his criminal record created by this incident.

Attorney Jarod P. Beasley of the Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville is representing Hall.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-523

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