Brother of suspected car thief claims Lake County officer used excessive force

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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — The brother of a suspected car thief who was fatally shot by police last year following a car chase in suburban Chicago has filed a federal lawsuit alleging officers used excessive force and conspired to harm his brother.

The Post-Tribune reports that Ryan Nelson filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Lake County, the towns of Dyer and St. John and the officers involved in his brother Mark Coffey’s death.

Coffey died in Dyer after police shot him Aug. 10 following a pursuit that crisscrossed the Illinois-Indiana border.

A prosecutor said in October that the officers were justified in the shooting and wouldn’t be charged.

The lawsuit says Coffey “was unarmed and suffering a mental health crisis” during the chase.

St. John’s police chief declined to comment on the lawsuit. Dyer’s police chief and Lake County’s sheriff didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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