A Black member of Eastern Illinois University's swim team is suing several police officers after they allegedly violated his rights during a team trip in February 2019.
The ACLU of Illinois filed the federal lawsuit against six officers on behalf of Jaylan Butler, who was traveling with the team by bus from South Dakota.
"Shortly after 8:00 p.m., the bus pulled over on a frontage road off Interstate 80 near East Moline, Illinois. Jaylan and several teammates left the bus to stretch their legs," according to the ACLU's statement.
According to the organization, Butler and other members of the team were at the side of the road taking selfies, when officers swarmed the area with guns drawn and cuffed Butler, with one putting a gun to his head.
"As I took the picture, there was a line of police officers ... they came to a screeching stop in front of me," Butler said to QConline. "At that moment, I only knew a couple things to do that my dad always told me."
ACLU writes that Butler "put his hands up, dropped his cell phone, and dropped to his knees. … While one officer handcuffed him, other officers pinned him to the ground by pushing a knee into Jaylan's back and pressing down on Jaylan's neck. Another officer then held his gun to Jaylan's forehead and threatened to "blow his [expletive] head off" if he moved."
"The officers quickly realized that Jaylan was not the suspect they were looking for and had done nothing wrong, but instead of releasing him and apologizing, the officers searched his pockets and placed him — still cuffed — in the back of a police vehicle. After several more minutes, the officers released him, but only after forcing Jaylan to provide photo identification," the statement continues.
Butler is suing officers from the Hampton Police Department, the East Moline Police Department, and the Rock Island County Sheriff's Office for false arrest, excessive detention, and excessive use of force.