Father of slain Evanston man to sue city

John Bamberg, father of slain Evanston man Javar Bamberg, speaks Jan. 7 at a Human Services Committee meeting. Bamberg plans to sue the city, the Evanston Police Department and the Evanston fire department in the coming weeks over the handling of his son's death and investigation.

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John Bamberg, father of slain Evanston man Javar Bamberg, speaks Jan. 7 at a Human Services Committee meeting. Bamberg plans to sue the city, the Evanston Police Department and the Evanston fire department in the coming weeks over the handling of his son's death and investigation.

Ciara McCarthy, Assistant City Editor

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The father of a slain Evanston man plans to sue the city, claiming his son’s death and subsequent investigation were mishandled.

John Bamberg will sue the city, the Evanston Police Department and the Evanston fire department, claiming they are liable for his son’s death, said Katie Vaughan, an attorney with the firm handling the case.

Javar Bamberg, 23, was fatally shot in the 1700 block of Grey Avenue on Dec. 12. Police say his death is connected to an ongoing feud between two Evanston families.

There was evidence that medics and other officials didn’t follow normal procedure in handling the investigation of Javar Bamberg’s death, said David Lowery Jr., CEO of civil rights organization Living & Driving While Black, which is supporting the lawsuit. There also might be evidence Javar Bamberg was still alive when police arrived on scene, Lowery said, adding that if that was the case, police failed to follow their policy to call paramedics immediately.

“If he was still breathing and police didn’t take proper procedures to get help, the police department needs to get cited,” Lowery said.

John Bamberg appeared before city committees at least twice after his son’s death and called for an investigation into the police response and requested more information about the investigation.

“We still don’t know exactly what happened to Javar,” John Bamberg said during a Jan. 14 City Council meeting. “The police have decided to have nothing to say to the Bambergs at all,” he added later.

Vaughan, an attorney with Anthony J. Peraica & Associates, said filing the complaint would shed more light on John Bamberg’s case.

“Once we file the complaint, we can subpoena police reports, 911 recorded phone calls, ambulance dispatches and we’ll be able to get a much clearer picture,” she said.

Before John Bamberg can file his lawsuit, he must be appointed special administrator of his son’s estate, Vaughan said. Once he is appointed administrator, John Bamberg will file his suit either in civil or federal court, Vaughan said. If the suit is filed in federal court, it will also allege the city violated Javar Bamberg’s right to equal protection.

John Bamberg did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

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