Contact: Jason Milch
HATE CRIME LAWSUIT FILED IN KANKAKEE COUNTY RACIAL ATTACK
CHICAGO – Three young African-American men today filed a lawsuit in Kankakee County Circuit Court, alleging that they were victims of hate crimes during a racially motivated, unprovoked attack by a group of white men in 2005.
The lawsuit alleges that while Vantis, Isaiah and Kenyon Coiley were outside a friend’s Manteno, Ill. home in February, 2005, they were accosted by an angry mob of white males, including defendants Larry DeLawder, Matt Garza, Jeremiah Spainhour, and Jason Stinebring. The group shouted numerous racial slurs at the young men, before attacking them with their hands, feet, bricks, knives, a hammer, and other dangerous objects. The Coileys attempted to flee, but the group disabled their car by slashing a tire and jamming a screwdriver in the ignition. Despite being severely injured, the Coileys were eventually able to free themselves and drive their damaged car to a hospital.
Vantis and Isaiah Coiley are brothers, and Kenyon Coiley is their cousin.
The Coileys further allege in the lawsuit that they continue to endure the physical and emotional injuries suffered as a result of the attack. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for violations of Illinois statutory law, emotional distress and property damage. In 2005, a jury convicted Mr. Stinebring of felony criminal charges, and in 2006 Mr. DeLawder and Mr. Spainhour pled guilty to felony criminal charges for the attack.
The Coileys are represented in their lawsuit by pro bono attorneys from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; and Betsy Shuman-Moore of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Inc.
“We hope to obtain just compensation for the Coileys for the physical and emotional suffering they have endured, as well as deter others from committing violent hate crimes, the most extreme form of racism and discrimination,” said Ms. Shuman-Moore.
For 35 years, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, through its 40-plus member law firms, staff and legal team, has provided free legal services to challenge discrimination and other civil rights violations in both the public and private sectors. For further information about the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, contact Clyde Murphy at 312-630-9744, or visit www.clccrul.org.