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AIDS researcher alleges false arrest and mistreatment from CPD
by Matt Simonette
2017-08-25

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A longtime AIDS researcher and physician is alleging that the Chicago Police Department subjected him to a false-arrest and mistreatment while in custody.

David Ostrow, MD, was arrested Aug. 21 at 1:45 p.m. while he was dining outside Little Wok, 3144 N. Broadway. According to a CPD spokesperson, Ostrow was arrested and charged with retail theft of display merchandise worth less than $300.

But Ostrow told Windy City Times that the incident stemmed from problems with an "unstable" person working at a nearby AT&T store. That person alleged that Ostrow had stolen a Galaxy S8 phone from a display the day before and notified police when they saw him pass by.

Ostrow maintains that he had been to the store "two or three times in the last several months" regarding a billing dispute with his U-verse and Direct TV accounts, but denied taking the phone. He said that he uses a Galaxy S6e, which he showed to police during his arrest.

Ostrow said, "[Police] said they wanted me to step outside the restaurant [area] so there would not be a public scene, but they proceeded to search and handcuff me right there."

He was taken first to the 19th District Town Hall police headquarters near Addison and Halsted Streets, then moved to District 3 headquarters at Belmont and Western Avenues. He alleges that he was not given a phone call and was denied water, despite having a chronic medical condition requiring it.

"I felt somewhat dehumanized," Ostrow said of the experience, adding that a valued necklace that he was wearing at the time of his arrest was not among his belongings when they were returned.

When Ostrow mentioned the missing necklace, "They told me, 'You can bring it up at your court date,' which is just ridiculous."

Ostrow also said that he heard officers making a number of racist and homophobic remarks while at the 19th District station. He has filed a complaint with the Independent Police Review Authority. The court date for his case will be Oct. 19.

CPD confirmed Ostrow's arrest but had no comment on the specifics of his case.


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