Shouting racist and anti-gay slurs, a Chicago police officer stripped West Side resident Frederick Mason, Jr. July 19 and jammed a police billy club up his rectum. Reminiscent of the infamous NYPD attack on Abner Louima, Mason was attacked as he stood handcuffed to the wall of an 11th District interrogation room on a misdemeanor charge.
Mason reported that one officer called him a “faggot ass nigger” and “nigger fag” while taking him to the station in a squad car. The officer apparently took offense at twice being called to Mason’s residence in response to a verbal altercation between him and his landlord, Rev. Robert Glasper, over a broken window.
During the officer’s second visit, Rev. Glasper said officers intimidated him into signing complaint forms against Mason without even having a chance to read them. Mason, 31, is a naval veteran with no criminal record. His July 19 misdemeanor “criminal destruction of property” charge for the broken window was dropped August 3 when Glasper refused to press charges.
The attack on Mason was clearly motivated by both anti-gay hate and racist hate. Mason, who is Gay and African American, reports that the white officer who assaulted him yelled “I’m tired of you faggot” and, as he jammed the billy club up Mason’s anus, “You want a dick up the ass, you got a dick up the ass now, you sick mother fucker.”
Mason was released on an I-bond after being held almost 14 hours at the station. Witnesses can attest that he entered police custody in good health and when released, had blood streaming from his rectum. Mason’s family doctor extensively documented the injuries.
Circumstances surrounding the attack suggest a police cover-up and a pattern of routine physical assaults on civilians at the 11th District Headquarters. As if on cue to avoid witnesses, just after one officer pulled down Mason’s pants, his partner left the interrogation room, and then the first officer proceeded to attack Mason with the billy club. Police reports on Mason’s arrest conveniently obscure the identity of the officer who attacked Mason.
In addition to seeking a civil award from the city, Mason’s defense team demands that the City break the police code of silence by actively assisting in the identification of the officers who attacked Mason. We demand that the City promptly fire these officers and that Cook County States Attorney Dick Devine prosecute them to the full extent of the law.