A Chicago store owner is suing his city after having to undergo surgeries and long-term therapy for what started as a robbery and ended as a police shooting. Just over one year ago, Bassil Abdelal was robbed by armed gunmen at his store (B&B Beauty Supply) on the West Side of the city. He called the police, like any normal citizen would, but their response was not one he expected.
According to CourtHouseNews.com, Abdelal was robbed on the night of March 14, 2012. He had closed for the night when three masked men forced their way into the building. Two of the three men were armed and pointed their weapons at Abdelal and his father and law, demanding money.
They got $160 out of the register and had to leave in a rush before getting more, as a getaway driver called to inform them that the police were coming. On their way out of the store, one of the robbers dropped his weapon.
Abdelal watched the men run to determine where they were going, so he could tell police. Upon seeing the weapon on the ground near the door to his store, Abdelal picked it up in fear the robbers would return. He stood in the doorway nervously waiting for police to respond.
When he saw the squad cars pull up into the parking lot, he dropped the weapon on the ground, never pointing it at anyone.
“After the police saw plaintiff drop the gun to the floor, they opened fire at him and shot plaintiff in his leg. The plaintiff ran back in side and was screaming, ‘Don’t shoot; I am the store owner.’ The police kept on shooting even when plaintiff was lying inside because plaintiff had been already been shot in the leg [sic],” reads the complaint filed in Federal Court.
In all, Abdelal was shot 11 times in his hands, shoulder, legs, and hips. As he lay bleeding on his store floor, his father and law attempted to get something to wrap the wounds and lessen the bleeding, but the police wouldn’t allow him near Abdelal.
That night, the police also shot and wounded the three robbers, who were far enough from the store that you would think they would realize Abdelal wasn’t part of the group of bandits. Still, Abdelal says he was harassed by police while he was in the hospital and he was made to look like a criminal.
He is suing for the lasting physical damage of his wounds, among other things.
No one expects to call the police for help and end up a victim of brutality or charged with a crime themselves, but it happens.