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Butler Settles Lawsuit Against QC Police

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The ACLU of Illinois says the only Black member of the Eastern Illinois University men’s swim team has ended the lawsuit he filed against police officers in the Quad Cities who mistakenly detained him.

According to the group, Jaylan Butler asked the court to dismiss his remaining claims, after reaching settlements with two of the six officers in the lawsuit.

In 2019, while traveling home with teammates from a swim meet, Butler was forced to the ground and handcuffed by police, at the I-80 rest stop in Rock Island County.

In an interview last year on “The 21st”, Butler said he tried to explain himself.

“You know, I kept trying to like get them to understand that I was on the swim team and that I could not possibly done anything wrong. After I said all that, another officer kind of knelt down beside me, and placed his handgun up to my forehead, and told me that if I kept moving, he would blow my head off.”

Police had mistaken Butler for a shooting suspect they were pursuing, and eventually released him without filing charges.

The lawsuit named officers from the East Moline and Hampton police and Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department, accusing them of assault, battery, false arrest, and use of excessive force. The officers have denied Butler’s claims.

In a statement released by the ACLU, Butler said he believed his lawsuit had succeeded in holding the officers accountable for their actions.

In a statement, Sheriff Gerry Bustos says, "We are happy that the matter was settled without any cost to Rock Island County or the taxpayers and believe that this outcome vindicates the Sheriff's Office and Deputies, who have maintained from the beginning of the litigation that they were not involved in any wrongdoing or harm suffered by the plaintiff."