Police block lawyers from clients, suit alleges

Police block lawyers from clients, suit alleges
Curtis Lawrence
Chicago Sun-Times
December 20, 2001

Two attorneys were manhandled by Chicago police officers and supervisors as part of a systematic department practice of blocking detainees from seeing attorneys, a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday charged.

Attorney Sladjana Vuckovic said an unidentified Area 4 officer grabbed her by the arms and forced her down a flight of stairs while she was trying to see a client last June in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Patrol Officer Brian Strouse.

Vuckovic's client was one of 11 people, including five children, who were represented by a nonprofit legal aid group in connection with the Strouse shooting. The clients were not charged, but they were held at the station for 14 hours without access to attorneys, according to lawyers who filed the suit. In another incident, attorney Dawn Sheikh said she was attempting to see a client who was detained in connection with an alleged gang shooting when she was pulled down a flight of stairs by a sergeant at Area 2 headquarters. She was pulled so forcibly that bruises remai