A federal court jury this week rejected a woman’s claim that she’d been illegally searched by Evanston police.
The woman, Jaleh Banaei, 61, had been arrested by police in 2008 after she allegedly got into an argument with a tenant in a building she owns at 1822 Dodge Ave., and the tenant claimed she had bumped him in the chest.
After officers Rebecca Niziolek and Timothy Messing took her to the police station, Niziolek ordered Banaei to partially disrobe and then patted her down over her undergarment and pants, while other male and female officers were in the room.
Banaei filed suit in 2010, claiming the officers had falsely arrested and unlawfully strip searched her in violation of her constitutional rights.
Last December, a federal appeals court upheld a trial court’s dismissal the false arrest claim, but reinstated the unlawful search claim.
After a trial this week that lasted a day and a half, Evanston Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar, who represented the officers, said it took a jury just 15 minutes of deliberation Wednesday to return a verdict in favor of the city.
Farrar said the jury decided the plaintiff’s claim was not credible and that the search was reasonable and lawful.
Police had initially charged Banaei with misdemeanor battery in the incident, but that charge was later dropped.