Peorian’s Civil Rights Lawsuit Dismissed

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A federal judge has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed by a Peoria man against the City of Peoria and several retired police officers.

Christopher Coleman was convicted of armed robbery and sexual assault in 1995.

Coleman filed suit in 2015 claiming his consitutional rights were violated by retired Peoria police officers Patrick Rabe, Terry Pyatt, Timothy Anderson and Michael Ford.

The Peoria City Manager’s office along with James Sotos of the Sotos Law Firm said in a news release Judge Sara Darrow of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois dismissed the lawsuit.

The news release stated Darrow, in an opinion issued March 9, “held as a matter of law that no reasonable jury could side with Coleman concerning his civil rights lawsuit or return a verdict in his favor.”

Darrow granted the City’s and the officers’ request for a summary judgment dismissing Coleman’s lawsuit.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision,” said James Sotos, attorney for the City and the officers named in the suit, as quoted in the news release. “This is a positive resolution for both the City and the police officers who were wrongfully accused of misconduct in this case. Despite the claims made by Coleman, the evidence shows that the officers acted appropriately, there was probable cause to arrest Coleman, and that he received a fair trial in 1995.

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