Federal judge dismisses case against Evanston in 2010 murder arrest

Julia Jacobs, City Editor

A judge ruled in favor of the city Thursday in a case claiming Evanston Police Department officers violated a man’s rights in a 2010 murder arrest.

John Bamberg Jr., who was absolved of the murder charges in 2012, sued the city in 2013 for alleged violation of his 14th Amendment rights and malicious prosecution, asking for compensation for the damage caused by the arrest.

Evanston police arrested Bamberg after the fiancee of the man who was shot identified him as the shooter, although she had refused to do so in a previous photo lineup. The murdered man’s fiancee, who was beside him in a car when he was shot, also told a grand jury in 2010 that Bamberg had previous altercations with her fiancee.

Evanston police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan said Bamberg accused the involved officers of setting him up and covering up information in favor of his innocence.

Judge Jorge Alonso granted the city’s request to terminate the lawsuit after finding that the officers had reason to arrest Bamberg.

Dugan said the case findings prove officers followed proper procedure when handling the incident and were transparent in their actions. While many cities would choose to settle the lawsuit to avoid higher legal fees, Evanston instead chose follow the lawsuit through, Dugan said.

“It’s good that the city takes a stance when our actions are legitimate,” he said.

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