Rock Island Gay Couple Files Lawsuit Alleging a Hate Crime Against Rock Island Police Department

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Prominent trial attorney Michael Schmiege of the Law Offices of Michael Schmiege has filed a lawsuit against the Rock Island Police Department alleging civil rights violations.

The lawsuit alleges that while lying handcuffed on his back one of the RIP Officers buried his knee into the left side of Mr. Girman’s chest breaking three of his ribs. The RIP Officers then sprayed pepper spray into the eyes of Mr. Girman.

Stephen Girman filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging civil rights violations arising out of the alleged unlawful hate crime and beating he received by the Rock Island Police Department. The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed by prominent trial attorney Michael Schmiege in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of Illinois under case number 4:15-cv-04090.

According to court documents, on September 16, 2014, Rock Island Police Department Officer’s Justin Holmes, Scott Gable and Anthony Zier responded to a call by Mr. Girman to assist in the removal of an intoxicated guest at his residence. The lawsuit claims that all was fine until the RIP Officers learned that the intoxicated male guest was not just a guest, but also the husband of Stephen Girman. According to the allegations of the lawsuit, the officers pushed Mr. Girman’s husband up against a garage wall and handcuffed him, causing stiches in his hand to open up and blood to start gushing out.

The lawsuit further claims that Mr. Girman pleaded with the officers to get medical attention for his husband, and that those calls for help were ignored. Mr. Girman continued to seek medical attention for his husband at which time the officers allegedly attacked Mr. Girman, threw him to the ground, and placed their knee on the back of the head of Mr. Girman forcing his head into the ground, causing Mr. Girman to have difficulty breathing and breaking his glasses. The lawsuit claims the officers then bent Mr. Girman’s arm behind his back. Mr. Girman claims to have informed the RIP Officers that he was handicapped and he could not maneuver his hand/arm in that manner – the lawsuit alleges that Mr. Girman’s handicap was evident to the RIP Officers. According to the allegations of the lawsuit, the RIP Officers responded that they did not care that they were hurting his arm and then placed him in handcuffs so tightly that they caused injury and cuts to his wrist.

According to the lawsuit, after placing the handcuffs on Mr. Girman the RIP Officers then rolled him onto his back. While lying handcuffed on his back one of the RIP Officers allegedly buried his knee into the left side of Mr. Girman’s chest breaking three of his ribs. The RIP Officers then allegedly sprayed pepper spray into the eyes of Mr. Girman.

The lawsuit charges that the actions of the RIP Officers were unlawful and based upon their personal hatred of Mr. Girman’s sexuality, claiming that their actions were a hate crime – their actions were criminal. Mr. Girman is hopeful that Rock Island State’s Attorney John McGehee will fully investigate this incident.

Mr. Girman is represented in their civil rights lawsuit by prominent Chicago attorney Michael P. Schmiege.

Based in Chicago, Michael Schmiege offers zealous criminal defense and civil rights representation to clients throughout Illinois; he also defends clients against federal matters in U.S. District Courts all over the nation.

Mr. Schmiege fights tirelessly for his clients' freedom and reputation, providing them with aggressive representation in defense of criminal charges and prosecution of civil rights claims. He founded his practice, the Law Offices of Michael Schmiege, with the goal of offering effective and dedicated representation to clients whose cases other firms have turned down. His mission is to win the cases others have deemed not winnable - against whatever odds. Over the course of his career, Mr. Schmiege has built a reputation as being a champion for his clients and their rights. He has achieved high rates of success in obtaining positive resolutions for his clients.

For press inquiries or interview opportunities with Mr. Schmiege and Mr. Girman, contact David Lowery, Jr. of the Living and Driving While Black Foundation.

David Lowery may be reached at:
PHONE:     (773) 998-1207
EMAIL:     livingdrivingwhileblack(at)gmail.com
WEB:        http://www.livingdrivingwhileblack.net

Mr. Schmiege may be reached at:
PHONE:     (312) 626-2400
EMAIL:     michaelschmiegelaw(at)gmail.com
WEB:        http://www.CHICAGOCRIMINALDEFENSEFIRM.COM
         http://www.CHICAGOPOLICEMISCONDUCTLAWYER.COM

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Michael Schmiege
@chicriminalatty
since: 03/2011
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