Homeless man sues over alleged police intimidation, assault

By Dan Harkins | Jun 24, 2015

A homeless man is suing a local hospital, an administrator, doctor and a handful of police officers for alleged intimidation and assault while being prevented from using the hospital's services.

Abdullah Musa Khadijah filed a complaint June 1 in Cook County Circuit Court against Cook County; John Stronger, with the Hospital of Cook County; Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board; Dr. Ramanathan Raju, CEO; Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart, Officers Henderson and Taylor, and an unnamed officer.

Khadijah alleges that the officers, while working for the hospital, harassed and intimidated him on three different occasions.

On Dec. 13, 2013, he alleges that he was waiting to see his doctor after a surgery four days prior, when Henderson and an unknown officer approached him and intimidated him, asking what he was doing there. "They acted like gang-bangers," the lawsuit states.

Henderson allegedly told the 63-year-old man that he wasn't seeing a doctor, told him to leave and told the attending nurse to take his name off the waiting list. Eventually, the lawsuit states, the officers used force to get him to leave. The plaintiff alleges that "this controversy stemmed from plaintiff writing and filing grievance for the homeless people that have [been] beaten up and [thrown] out in the sub-zero temperature this year and last year."

Eventually, the officers applied a choke hold, the lawsuit states and began yelling in his face. Henderson allegedly told the plaintiff that he couldn't see a doctor at Stroger and that he had to walk to Rush nearby, which he eventually did to receive treatment, the lawsuit states.

The second incident, the lawsuit states, allegedly happened when Khadijah went to Stroger Cook County Hospital emergency room to see a doctor about getting a prescription refill on Jan. 14, 2014. Officer Taylor this time allegedly followed the same tack as Henderson and asked why he was there, the lawsuit states. Eventually, the lawsuit states, Taylor forcibly removed Khadijah from the premises with a choke hold and handcuffs, taking him to the police office, where he was allegedly searched and harassed for a few hours. Then he was told to leave via the Poke Street garage, the lawsuit states.

The third incident, the lawsuit states, allegedly happened on Feb. 7, 2014, when Khadijah again was at Stroger, allegedly waiting for a ride. He said his medication made him fall asleep and he eventually awoke to Taylor allegedly kicking him in the ribs. After allegedly threatening Khadijah, telling him that he was going to "put his foot up my a--" and to "get the f--- out of this hospital," Taylor allegedly was told to leave, to walk to the University of Illinois in Chicago in the sub-zero temperature, where he complained of his painful ribs and tried to file a police report about Taylor's alleged assault, the lawsuit states.

To sum up his case, the plaintiff alleges that "these officers conduct is and was outside of their professional conduct and policies of Stroger Cook County Hospital. These acts, and conduct of these officers, was derived from retaliatory acts due to plaintiff filing grievance. These officers displayed intentional tort, assault and battery, police brutality, shoving, harassment and provocation of altercation, and excessive force, willful misconduct, freedom of movement (and) aggression.."

The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $740,000, plus costs.

The plaintiff is self-represented.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015L005497.

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