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Lawsuit claims excessive force in arrest

An amended lawsuit filed by an Evanston man alleges excessive use of force, false arrest, and inadequate medical care by city police who arrested him nearly three years ago.

A still from body cam video showing officers attempting to handcuff Ronald Louden.

An amended lawsuit filed by an Evanston man alleges excessive use of force, false arrest, and inadequate medical care by two city police officers in the June 2018 arrest of then-40-year-old Ronald Louden, Jr.

Attorney Andrew Stroth says in the federal court complaint that “without cause or provocation,” the two officers “forcibly handcuffed Mr. Louden, tased him in the back twice, and smashed him face-first into a cement parking curb.”

The complaint says Louden “suffered multiple injuries including head trauma” and shattered front teeth, and says police did not seek medical help in a timely manner.

Body cam video from the incident shows that Louden repeatedly resisted police efforts to handcuff him after he was found holding an open container of alcohol behind an apartment building at 2024 Wesley Ave. and that he was tased as he attempted to break free from the officers.

A still frame from the body cam video showing Loudon being tased.

Louden first filed the lawsuit without a lawyer shortly after the incident occurred. Stroth says that after Louden “showed me the video, I decided to get involved.”

A police report regarding the incident said officers responded to the scene to investigate possible drug dealing in the alley. Police also said that after they took Louden into custody they found a loaded 9mm handgun with an extended magazine under a towel on his car’s front seat.

City spokesperson Patrick Deignan says Louden pled guilty in 2019 to being a felon in possession of a weapon as a result of the incident.

Louden has also faced a variety of other charges in Evanston over the past decade including felony drug possession, assault and child endangerment.

Deignan says the city has received the amended complaint, but does not comment on pending litigation.

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