ANNIE SWEENEY Chicago Tribune
Days after Darren Cole made public last March that he was detained by Chicago police more than 60 times because he shared a name with a man with an arrest warrant, the city has helped clear up the case.
But the cooperation did not last long.
Now the city of Chicago and Cole are embroiled in a more complicated and potentially longer court battle over whether the department’s computer data system was to blame for the repeated shutdowns. The Chicago man has been under close scrutiny for about fifteen years because of an outstanding arrest warrant for another man named Darren Cole in Marion County.
Cole’s attorneys argued that the department’s data system had been flagged by monitoring agencies as “flawed and in need of reform” and that the database directly contributed to the repeated shutdowns and fear and to the harassment that accompanied him with Cole in Chicago.
Now city officials have retorted in court records that the repeated arrests happened because Cole’s pending warrant for downstate was entered into a nationwide database. State over which they have no control. And when Chicago officers arrested Cole, they were performing their duties and “legally and constitutionally” detained him to investigate the warrant, the city argued.
“It is not known what shortcoming in city record keeping would have caused Cole’s repeated detention, as the database that caused the detention is a statewide database, and the The entry in the said database which led to his detention was not added by the city. of Chicago, âthe city wrote in a file. “The plaintiff alleges circumstances which are unfortunate, but which are not the fault of the defendant.”
The city also noted that Cole was released each time after “proper investigations”.
Cole alleged that the repeated arrests caused enormous stress in his work and personal life, telling the Tribune in March that he was even considering suicide. During a stop, an officer pointed a gun at him, according to his lawsuit. And because of his fear of being arrested, Cole chose not to visit his sick father.
Cole struggled unsuccessfully over the years to find a permanent solution, at one point carrying a handwritten note from a Chicago police sergeant to use during his stops. He also got a letter from Marion County stating that he is not the same one Darren Cole wanted there.
Before filing a complaint in March, Cole’s attorneys also sent numerous emails to the city’s legal department asking them to correct the problem in the system.
It was only after filing her complaint and immediately before an emergency hearing that the city contacted Marion County officials, who withdrew the warrant. The city also sent a message to all officers saying Cole, 50, should not be arrested on this warrant, his lawyers noted in a court file challenging the dismissal.
“The fact that the city quickly and with great ease remedied Mr. Cole’s injunction requests as it stared at the barrel of an emergency evidence hearing is worth noting,” reads a note from footer in Cole’s latest motion challenging the city’s decision to dismiss his lawsuit.
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