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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, E/CN.4/2005/62/Add.1, March 30, 2005: United States of America

1868. Frederick Mason. The Government informed that in August 2000, he filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department and two officers, alleging that on 19 July 2000, he was sodomized and called racist and anti-gay names by the two officers. The Office of Professional Standards investigated this case. The Chicago Police Superintendent indicated that a medical examination on 20 July 2000, did not support Frederick Mason’s allegations and that even the most basic facts do not support his allegations of physical abuse. His civil suit was settled in June 2002 for $20,000. The City of Chicago has denied all wrongdoing and stated that there was no evidence to support the removal of the officers from the police force. The City also claims the settlement was merely for nuisance value. According to press reports, on 6 September 2002, the two police officers involved counter-sued Frederick Mason for $20,000, claiming malicious prosecution. The Department of Justice Criminal Section closed its file in this matter after reviewing the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigation report and concluding that the matter lacked prosecutorial merit under federal criminal civil rights statutes.[89]

1869. Kentin Waits. The Government informed that according to press reports, in July 2000 he argued with a Chicago police officer and shortly thereafter returned and squirted the officer with a water bottle. The following morning approximately seven officers arrested him at his home and held him at the police station for 22 hours, subjecting him to physical and anti-gay verbal abuse. In May 2001, Kentin Waits filed a lawsuit against the city, the chief of the office of Professional Standards, and certain unidentified officers. Press reports also indicated that in November 2002, after a jury trial, Waits was awarded $15,000 in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages. Upon review, the judge reduced the jury’s punitive award to $45,000.[90]

[[89] Further details on this case can be found in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, E/CN.4/2002/76/Add.1, March 14, 2002, para. 1714[[89]]

link to the full text of the Report: Report-SR Torture-summary cases-2005-eng