Illinois State Police Dash Cam Video Doesn’t Match Lawsuit’s Claim in CPD Crash at Union Ave and 124th St, Chicago

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DASH CAM VIDEO: Illinois State Police/Chicago Police Department pursuit resulting in crash at 24th Street and Union Avenue, Chicago. Audio beings at 8:02; Pursuit begins at 8:29; Crash occurs just after 12:47 elapsed time.

On Friday, July 1, 2016 a Tinley Park Arby’s manager knocked to the ground and robbed. The store manager was carrying the restaurant’s bank deposit, and was encountered by suspects in the parking lot at 191st Street and Harlem Avenue about 10:40 a.m. Illinois State Police spotted the suspects’ vehicle northbound on I-57 heading toward Chicago, and tailed the vehicle until the vehicle exited at 127th Street. State Troopers in two cruisers activated their lights and sirens when it became obvious the suspects were exiting I-57 in their gold Pontiac Grand Prix. Four suspects inside the vehicle, which was stopped at the bottom of the ramp, failed to comply with orders to “step out” by the State Troopers. The driver of the suspects’ vehicle then sped off the wrong way down a one-way street, and the pursuit began on streets in Chicago’s West Pullman neighborhood. The suspects were believed to be armed.

The suspects continued through streets, parking lots, and alleys, while the State Trooper in the lead asked the Illinois State Police trooper, “Where is Chicago (PD)? Police were enroute, but were apparently lagging because of the high speed and the lack of real-time communications between Illinois State Police and Chicago Police Officers. Status updates about the location of the pursuit were being relayed from the lead State Trooper to the responding Chicago Police Officers by the Illinois State Police dispatcher and the Chicago Police Dispatcher.

The State Trooper then witnessed an unmarked Chicago Police SUV crash with the suspects’ vehicle at 124th Street and Union Avenue. The vehicles both ended up in two front yards at the northeast corner of 124th Street and Union Avenue.

The lead State Trooper (Radio signature #114) immediately requested Chicago Fire Department respond to the scene. Later at the scene he reported one suspect was in custody, and three suspects were severely injured. He also reported three Chicago police officers were injured.

Two suspects were killed by the crash, and two suspects were injured. Ronald Arrington, 22, and Jimmy Malone, 26, died after failing to stop during a chase involving the Illinois State Police and Chicago Police Department.

The family of one of the two robbery suspects killed is now suing the Chicago Police Department and a Chicago police officer saying he recklessly caused the death of the man. Ronald Arrington’s mother, Juanita Arrington, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Wednesday, February 2, 2017 against the city of Chicago and Officer Dean W. Ewing, alleging “willful and wanton negligence.”

Ewing was driving the unmarked SUV that crashed with the suspects’ gold Grand Prix at 124th Street and Union Avenue while responding to the chase.

The lawsuit states, “Officer Ewing accelerated his vehicle to the point where he traveled 30 to 50 mph above the speed limit” and the “rammed” the Grand Prix and caused it to “overturn in a burst of dust and smoke.”

However, from Illinois State Trooper 114’s dash cam video, it appears that the driver of the police SUV was attempting to locate the chase. In over 12 minutes of dash cam video the crash with the Chicago Police Department SUV is the first time a Chicago Police Department vehicle is visible in the video. The only other police vehicle reconizable is the second Illinois State Police vehicle (Radio signature #117), in which the State Trooper possibly had difficulty locating or keeping up with the chase. The lead State Trooper says at one point, “I got 117 back with me” after seeing the other cruiser at a cross street near 125th Street and Wallace just before the crash occurs at 124th Street and Union Avenue.

The lawsuit says Ewing “engaged in willful and wanton negligence by speeding in a residential neighborhood, pursuing the car over an extended distance and time, creating an increased risk of danger to the public and passengers in the gold Grand Prix,” the suit claims. The video never shows that police SUV involved in the chase until the crash, and the

The lawsuit claims Ewing “failed to abandon” the chase when circumstances warranted termination.

The suspects who survived the crash — Michael Cokes, 26, of Alsip, and Isiah Stevenson, 24, of Matteson — were charged with robbery.

As of mid-October, Cokes and Stevenson both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft charges, according to the Will County clerk’s office.

Autopsies for Arrington and Malone concluded they died of multiple injuries from a motor vehicle collision. Their deaths were ruled accidents, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The dollar amount for the damage was not initially specified in the lawsuit.

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