Suit Against VA Cops Proceeds in Federal Court
A man suing the Veterans Administration for malicious prosecution will be allowed to press his case, according to a ruling in federal court that denied the government’s motion for a summary judgement that would have dismissed the case. Victor Rayas sued the agency after a 2017 bench trial acquitted him on a directed finding that Veterans Administration Police did not possess enough evidence to charge him with battery. VA cops claimed he started an altercation that led to his being arrested outside the Jesse Brown Medical Center in Chicago’s Near West Side.
The VA sought to have the suit dismissed, contending video of the encounter shows that Sgt. Carlos Echeverry had probable cause to arrest Rayas after the men bumped chests in a dispute over a use of chained walkway. However, Judge Virginia Kendall of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illionois disagreed in letting Rayas’ suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act move forward. She called the footage that offers only an obscured view of the incident inconclusive and noted that Echeverry’s resorting to violence so quickly over a petty violation could support the inference of malice by a reasonable trier of fact.