A Wrigleyville man who sued the Chicago Police Department and two cops who allegedly beat him during the Cubs World Series victory celebration in 2016 has won nearly $54,000 in federal court.
In separate matters, the Chicago Police Board has overruled CPD Supt. David Brown’s efforts to reduce disciplinary action against the 19th District commander and a lieutenant for allegations stemming from a police response in Lincoln Park during the height of public unrest last May.
Cubs championship case
Asher Kaufman, who was 40 when the Cubs won the World Series on November 2, 2016, decided to walk from his Lakeview home to Wrigley Field with his girlfriend and another friend to join the huge street party that overtook Wrigleyville after the game.
Along the way, they stopped to buy a beer and a half-pint of Crown Royal, according to the federal suit Kaufman later filed. One uniformed cop asked Kaufman to hurry up and drink his beer as he walked.
“You got it,” Kaufman reportedly replied. Then, as the group reached Gingerman Tavern, 3740 North Clark, an undercover cop grabbed Kaufman, snatched his beer, grabbed his Crown Royal, and completely searched Kaufman, according to the allegations.
Kaufman, who said he thought the man was a bar bouncer, asked for his beer back, but the undercover cop allegedly told him, “f*ck you, get the f*ck out of here.”
At that point, another undercover cop, alleged to be Sgt. Andrew Dakuras, ran up and struck Kaufman in the chest, according to the suit.
“Come on, mother f*cker. Let’s go,” Dakuras allegedly said before hitting Kaufman again and taking the phone Kaufman was carrying. The alleged assault continued while Kaufman pleaded with a uniformed officer for help, still unaware that Dakuras was a cop, the lawsuit said. Eventually, several uniformed officers allegedly pounced on Kaufman.
“I’m an undercover cop. You’re f*cked now,” Dakuras allegedly told Kaufman.
“I love this part. Free shots,” Dakuras said before striking Kaufman repeatedly in the head while other officers held Kaufman, the suit claimed. Dakuras arrested Kaufman and drove him to Weiss Hospital for treatment.
Kaufman was charged with resisting police, battery, and drinking alcohol on the public way, according to CPD records. A judge convicted him of misdemeanor resisting police during a bench trial the next year.
Last week, a federal jury awarded Kaufman $35,000 from the city, $18,000 from Dakuras, and $700 for the phone he said police never returned. The jury did not return any awards in connection with allegations against the second officer Kaufman sued.
Dakuras, who has been on the force for 26 years, was promoted to lieutenant in 2020, according to CPD records.
The Chicago Police Board has rejected efforts by CPD’s superintendent to reduce the city police oversight agency’s recommended punishments for two supervisors related to an incident in Lincoln Park on the evening of May 31, 2020.
Cops across the city managed intense protests and looting sprees that weekend after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. One flare-up occurred at the intersection of Fullerton and Lincoln in the Town Hall (19th) Police District.
According to police board records, Chicago Office of Police Accountability investigators sustained seven allegations against CPD Lt. Agustin Salgado, including charges that he struck or tried to strike members of the public with his baton without provocation.
COPA recommended a 90-day suspension as punishment for Salgado, but CPD Supt. David Brown did not agree with most of the agency’s conclusions and recommended a 7-day penalty instead, the board records show.
Following protocol, police board member Rhoda Sweeney reviewed the case and decided COPA’s 90-day suspension will stand because Brown failed to meet the burden to overrule the agency’s recommendation, according to the board’s summary.
Another case stemming from the same incident is notable, but not so much for the allegations as for the person who is being disciplined.
In the same report explaining the board’s ruling on Salgado, Sweeney upheld COPA’s recommended 7-day suspension for 19th District Commander Chris Papaioannou. According to the board’s report, COPA determined that Papaioannou failed to complete a use of force report in connection with the May 31 incident. Brown wanted to reduce Papaioannou’s punishment to a written reprimand, the report said.
It is unusual for high-ranking police executives like commanders to receive suspensions, particularly for relatively minor allegations like the one Papaioannou faced.