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Law Office of Jordan Marsh seeks justice for teenager assaulted by off-duty officer.

November 02, 2023

The Law Office of Jordan Marsh has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Chicago and Chicago police officer Craig Lancaster on behalf of a teenage boy who was attacked without provocation by Lancaster as he attempted to enter his school in May of this year.

The incident was captured on surveillance video, which shows 14-year-old eighth-grader JaQuwaun Williams walking toward the entrance of his Chicago public school, Gresham Academy for Excellence, on the city’s south side.

The officer was standing behind a math teacher who was directing students into the school. For no apparent reason, he steps out from behind the teacher and violently jams his hand into JaQuwaun’s throat, shoving him backward.

He then approaches JaQuwaun and stares at him as the teacher separates the two and guides JaQuwaun to a wall away from the officer, who nonetheless follows JaQuwaun and stares him down, threatening to “beat the f***” out of JaQuwaun.

Moments later, Lancaster is approached by a security guard. He lifts up his shirt to show the guard his police star and gun holster. Then he gets into his car and drives away.

It turns out Lancaster has a long history of excessive force complaints, including two 30-day suspensions for off-duty misconduct.

The incident with JaQuwaun is being investigated by the Chicago Police Bureau of Internal Affairs, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. 

“JaQuwaun and the rest of these kids are going to be skeptical for the rest of their lives about whether the police are there to actually protect them or just hurt them. If they weren’t already cynical, they definitely are now.”

-Attorney Jordan Marsh

You can see the surveillance video in coverage by WGN TV and the Chicago Tribune.  

If you are not a subscriber to the Tribune, you can view a PDF of the article here

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