Family of 95-year-old killed by cops' beanbag rounds files lawsu - FOX 32 News Chicago

Family of 95-year-old killed by cops' beanbag rounds files lawsuit

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - The family of a World War II veteran who was fatally shot with a beanbag gun by a Park Forest cop has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, saying the 95-year-old was “not a threat to anyone,” the Sun-Times is reporting.

Relatives of John Wrana filed the $5 million lawsuit against six police officers and the Village of Park Forest in U.S. District Court Friday. It claims officers should have known Wrana would be seriously injured or killed by the 190 mph beanbag round, which was fired at close range during a standoff at an assisted-living center.

Wrana’s death last year prompted widespread outrage which in April led to criminal charges of felony misconduct being filed against the officer who pulled the trigger, 43-year-old Craig Taylor.

But the federal suit filed Friday also blames five other officers, including Cmdr. Michael Baugh, who allegedly ordered the beanbag round be fired from a shotgun in an attempt to subdue Wrana; and Chief Clifford Butz, accused of failing to properly train his men.

It says Park Forest’s use of force policy directly led to the tragedy.

Taylor, Baugh and three other officers were called to the Victory Centre of Park Forest Assisted Living Center on July 26 last year after Wrana refused medical treatment for what the center staff believed was a urinary tract infection.

The situation rapidly deteriorated after Wrana turned violent, brandishing at paramedics a knife and a long shoehorn that was mistaken for a machete, according to police.

But instead of waiting outside Wrana’s room for him to fall asleep or making a less-violent intervention, the officers burst into Wrana’s room, the lawsuit states.

And when a Taser fired by Baugh missed, Taylor fired the beanbag round from less than 15 feet away, in violation of the manufacturer’s instructions, the suit alleges, accusing the cops of acting “wilfully, wantonly, intentionally, knowingly, maliciously, in bad faith and with deliberate disregard.”

Park Forest Police did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday. It previously issued a statement in support of Taylor.

Attorney Terry Ekl, who is representing Taylor in his criminal case, also did not immediately return calls, though he has previously urged the public not to rush to judgement before the facts are heard in court.

Nicholas Grapsas, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of Wrana’s stepdaughter, Sharon Mangerson, and other relatives, said Mangerson “wants accountability” and policies put in place to prevent future tragedies.

“This was ‘Keystone Cops’ with dangerous toys,” he said.

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