College Of DuPage Sued, Ex-Student Claims Police Used Excessive Force
College of DuPage and two of its campus police officers were sued by a former student of the college for using excessive force during her arrest in December 2014.Advertisement
Jaclyn Pazera, who was sitting at a desk in a philosophy class during the arrest, accused the two police officers for “aggressively following her” after which they forced her to the ground and mistreated her. A video footage of the incident was captured by Pazera’s teacher.
An investigation into the matter is being conducted by the college, spokesman Randall Samborn said. As reported by Chicago Daily Herald, Samborn wrote in an email, “The College of DuPage just learned of, but has not yet reviewed, the lawsuit that was filed today. Student safety is of utmost importance to us. Of course, we will investigate to determine the facts and take appropriate action.”
The incident stemmed from Pazera smoking on campus grounds. She was given a warning of the college’s smoke free policy, after which she returned to class. That is when the accused officers surrounded her, tipping her over the desk and arresting her. In the video, the officers can be heard that Pazera should “stop resisting.” Pazera says that she isn’t resisting, and begs the officers to let her go.
Pazera was charged of obstructing a peace officer and resisting a peace officer, but the charges were dropped last month.
According to ABC News, Pazera said last month, “I had two fully grown men on my back pushing me into the ground, and he said in the video, ‘If you can talk, you can breathe.’ He picked me up and slammed me into the ground harder.” She says that she had “recurring injuries” to her wrist and shoulder.
While Pazera is seeking monetary damages for the incident, her attorney said he is “not sure that’s her biggest concern.” He further said, “She was accosted quickly and was not allowed to get up. These two officers surrounded her. She was manhandled by men.”
Pazera hasn’t attended class following her arrest. “I haven’t stepped foot there since this happened to me,” she said.