POST-9/11 HATE CRIME LAWSUIT FILED
For immediate release: October 26, 2004
For further information, contact: Betsy Shuman-Moore, Chicago Lawyers' Committee
CHICAGO . . . On Tuesday, October 26, Toby Paulose and Amer Zaveri filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Joseph Gutierrez and George Petroski for a vicious November 2002 attack on the near west side of Chicago in which they allege they were assaulted because of their perceived ethnicity, nationality and/or religion. According to the lawsuit, Paulose and Zaveri were asked, "Are you Taliban?" before defendants punched, kicked and beat them with beer bottles. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for physical injuries, loss of civil rights and emotional distress. Gutierrez pled guilty to aggravated battery and hate crime charges earlier this year in criminal court and was sentenced to probation.
"This was a heinous post-9/11 hate crime," said Diana M. Lin, Chicago Lawyers' Committee Equal Justice Works Fellow. "All Americans grieved after the 9/11 attack, including South Asian, Muslim and Arab Americans. To beat an innocent person because of the color of their skin, ethnicity, or religion is un-American, and a crime that terrorizes entire communities."
Paulose and Zaveri are represented by Betsy Shuman-Moore and Diana M. Lin of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. and pro bono attorneys Jonathan Baum and Ferris Hussein of Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman. "We hope to obtain just compensation for Paulose and Zaveri for their injuries and the suffering they have endured,” said Hussein, "and to deter others from committing ethnically-motivated attacks."
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.