CHICAGO — A federal jury has found that a Chicago police lieutenant used excessive force when he tackled and beat a man during the celebration outside Wrigley Field after the Cubs won the 2016 World Series.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the jury on Wednesday found in favor of Asher Kaufman in his lawsuit against then-Sgt. Andrew Dakuras. It awarded him more than $53,000 in damages.
The ruling adds to the $278,000 the city has paid out to settle six previous lawsuits against Dakuras, a 26-year-department veteran. According to an online database, there have been 73 complaints registered against Dakuras.
Dakuras and other undercover officers were working in the Wrigleyville area the night in November 2016 when the Cubs defeated Cleveland, prompting a massive celebration outside Wrigley Field.
During the trial, Kaufman testified that he and his girlfriend had joined the celebration outside a tavern near Wrigley when Sgt. Joseph Mirus Jr. grabbed him and confiscated a half pint of whiskey he’d bought at a nearby convenience store.
Kaufman said he thought Mirus was a bouncer at the bar and began to scuffle with him and Dakuras, both of whom were in plain clothes, before Dakuras grabbed Kaufman’s cellphone and ran off.
Kaufman said he chased Dakuras and had tackled him when several uniformed and plainclothes officers pounced on him.
He said Dakuras told him, “I love this part, free shots,” and grabbed him by the hair, punched him in the face and the side of his head, jumped on him and slammed his head into the pavement. Kaufman was arrested and taken by Dakuras to a hospital for treatment.
He was charged with resisting arrest, battery and drinking on a public way. In 2017, a judge found him guilty of a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest but found him not guilty on the battery and drinking on a public way counts.
This week, the same jury that ruled against Dakuras found that Mirus was not liable of the counts against him. The city’s law department said in a statement that it was pleased Mirus was not found liable and was “assessing its options” regarding Dakuras.