Gay Chicago Man Alleges Police Committed Hate Crime


Last year, police officers reportedly arrested Alexander Ruppert, 37, for causing a disturbance at Chicago’s Uptown Lounge. He was “charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and two counts of aggravated battery to a police officer” according to the Chicago Tribune. What happened after the arrest, however, Ruppert’s attorney Jon Erickson says, was “a hate crime disguised as policework.”

Ruppert2The Tribune reports: “According to Ruppert’s lawsuit, two officers asked him to leave the bar and put him in the back of a squad car but didn’t handcuff him or arrest him. The officers have not been charged with a crime. They made ‘vulgar comments referring to his sexual orientation’ and after driving him a block away from club, hit him in his face and on his head while calling him names, according to the lawsuit. Ruppert weighs about 120 pounds, while the officers each weigh more than 200 pounds, Erickson said . Ruppert told the officers he was HIV-positive and pleaded for medical attention, the lawsuit said. The officers took him to Weiss Memorial Hospital, where he received 16 stitches for a cut under his left eye and other treatment, the suit said. Simonton said that according to the initial charges, Ruppert was ‘injured during the transport to the police station,’ but she had no further details. The two officers were treated for injuries at a hospital, Simonton said. Ruppert’s lawsuit claimed that the officers’ injuries were not legitimate and included an injury to a knuckle that one officer suffered while punching Ruppert.”

Ruppert3Ruppert also says that while in police custody for two days, he was forced to drink water from the toilet when he was thirsty and was not given food. Officers have so far refused to testify about the incident in court, causing felony charges against Ruppert to be dropped.

Here’s a video report from CBS2 Chicago.

According to the paper, “The lawsuit against the city and the two officers seeks unspecified damages for excessive force, battery, unlawful seizure and malicious prosecution.”

Suit alleges Chicago police beat gay man [chicago tribune]
Lawsuit: Police Beat Chicago Man Because He Is Gay [cbs2 chicago]


  1. shane says

    OMG!! His face! This so reminds me of those NYC cops who sodomized that guy. I hope he tears them up in court.

    Did you notice the anchorwoman said “Another accusation of police . . .”? Another? What is going on with the Chicago cops? And what is this bullshit: “He bruised our knuckles when we were beating him”!! Psychos!!

    Did anyone notice the first lawyer’s lisp? “They beat him with their fisths.”

  2. Zeke says

    The “blame the dirty faggot first” brigade from should be here to comment in 4-3-2-1…

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    “…so reminds me of theose NYC cops who sodomized that guy”

    Thanks, Shane, I was to punky to be the first one to draw that analogy.

    First of all, I wish Mr. Ruppert the best, and I hope he’s had a full recovery– hopefully, the scaring under his eye will heal well.

    Back to Shane’s observation. This is exactly the kind of incident which clearly illustrates the persecution of gay people (white, black, Latino, whatever). All the other issues that are in the news (gay marriage, don’t ask/don’t tell, etc.) really don’t touch a nerve with other oppressed groups in this country–they don’t take gay people’s problems seriously. But when there is a pattern of police brutalizing and mutilating you simply because of what you are, then other minority groups may be able to understand that the oppression of gay people is just as valid as an historical atrocity as any other oppressed group’s mistreatment. Not that gay people’s complaints need anyone’s validation, but atleast our claims of being oppressed cannot be seen as frivolous by anyone–except anti-gay idiots. This was a gay man who was beaten and mutlilated because of what he is; his status as a “white man” didn’t help him none.

  4. says

    Hopefully the folk who get all pissy about Cooper not talking about who he bones or Washington calling a co-worker a slur, will be just as funky about this freaking case! Damn. Anyone in Chicago? What are the political gay folk saying about this?

  5. says

    I’m from Chicago, where cops seem to get caught beating people on tape every day. This is the first anti-gay incident I’ve heard of, but I think the police force in this town is plagued with a sizeable population of arrogant, trouble-causing troglodytes who actively look for ways to make themselves feel macho. I am NOT a fan.

  6. mark m says

    I don’t know what it’s like in Chicago, but in Alabama, there is VERY LITTLE training that goes into becoming a police officer. Frighteningly little. You can even become a police officer if you have a criminal record (yes I know, civil disobedience counts on a criminal record, but that’s not what I’m referring to).

    I’ve often speculated that law enforcement draws many of the same sociopaths that crime does… it’s just a socially accepted way to channel those impulses.

  7. says

    I’ve always thought of (most) cops as failed criminals. The guys that weren’t actually smart enough to carry out true crimes and get away with them. It all comes back in the end, their careers are over.

  8. shane says


    “The lawsuit names officers Vincent Torres and Kent Pemberton and the City of Chicago.

    Spokespersons for the Chicago Police Department and the City said they have not seen the lawsuit and did not want to comment.

    Torres and Pemberton remain on duty.”

  9. shane says

    BIG – you must be talking about cops in NE New Jersey. These assholes are paying the foxes to watch the henhouse!!

  10. Zeke says

    I think it is shameful and VERY unfair to paint all cops with this wide brush.

    I have no doubt that MOST police officers are respectable, honorable, moral and ethical public servants who risk their lives every day for the good of the greater society.

    There are quite a few bad apples in the bunch but it is WAY WRONG to insult, degrade and blame all law enforcement officers for the evil actions of a small minority.

    We as gay people should understand more than anyone what it’s like to be demonized as a community for the inappropriate actions of a few.

  11. Brian says

    Zeke’s right, we can’t think of all cops as being like these bad apples. However, it’s also true that we must hold police officers to a higher standard of conduct than regular citizens, given the authority that we allow them. If this incident happened the way the victim says it did (and I understand that there are always two sides to every story), then there should be quite harsh punishment for all officers involved. Hopefully this story won’t get lost to follow-up.

  12. mark m says

    Zeke I agree. I didn’t mean to imply all policemen are sociopaths. But as Brian pointed out, these men and women are entrusted with a tremendous amount of responsibility. Most exceed the demands of the job with honor.

    But far too many do not. I believe if the requirements for becoming officers of the law were more strict and had more pyschological profiling involved, corruption might not be as common as it is. And any number of bad cops is 1 too many.

  13. Zeke says

    100% agreed Brian and Mark M.

    My BEST friend, the straight Marine who refused to get married until I could, and who married his wife in a double ceremony with me and my husband in Toronto in 2003, is a cop. There is NO more honorable man on the planet than he. That’s why I took some of the comments above VERY personally.

  14. says

    Maybe all policemen aren’t sociopaths directly, but there is a culture on police forces that protects assholes like Torres and Pemberton. Where are the other officers willing to testify against these two?

    I’m amazed that cops still think they can get away with saying that suspects were ‘injured during the transport to the police station’. That excuse says, “we’re not even going to bother coming up with a plausible explanation of how someone could have a severe facial injury because we know we’ll never be persecuted for it.”

    These guys should be in prison.

  15. Tread says

    This story is just getting traction now? I remember hearing about this right after it happened.

    It was largely ignored by the local media because the man was gay. I sent this to all of my friends with a note attached to look out for the cops as they seem to be patrolling the Boystown area with the attitude to beat the shit out of any “disorderly” gays.

  16. chicago says

    The story is getting ‘traction’ now because the criminal charges were dropped a few weeks ago and the civil law suit was just filed…the most important thing for the victim, whom I know was to ‘beat’ the felony charges that were filed against him. With those dropped, his lawyers were free to talk about it.

  17. Dennis says

    Don’t worry James, I have more than enough outrage to go around. I’ll note that the cops made “vulgar comments referring to his sexual orientation” which sounds an awful lot like what Washington did. And let’s not forget that Washington did also get violent when he choked Dempsey. Any intolerant environment breads violence, and if we don’t bitch about the nonviolent stuff, then there will be a lot more beatings.

  18. John says

    “Hey, the badge says ‘To Protect and Serve’, not ‘What the F— Are You Looking At?” – Bill Maher (on the police).

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. There’s a culture of corruption within many police departments. It’s certainly not limited to Chicago.

    Remember that incident a few years ago, when some SFPD officers beat two gay guys senseless because they refused to share their bag of fajitas? Those cops got away with it scot-free too. The department, labor union, and police commission refused to punish anyone. When the DA finally did file an indictment, the cop friendly judge who handled the case simply dismissed all the charges.

  19. Another John says

    I am by no means an authority on the Chicago PD, so anyone who is, feel free to correct me.

    I have to agree that we can’t demonize all cops, or all cops in Chicago. I used to live in Chicago’s Boystown and there is a very large police station right in the neighborhood where all the bars are, and the cops that work that station were always FANTASTIC. It was almost as if we had our own private police force. It was kind of nice and comforting..

    The Uptown Lounge however is quite a bit farther north in a burgeoning neighborhood that until recently was a ghetto. And the farther North you go in Chicago, the more conservative and Midwestern things get. It loses that urbane live-and-let-live attitude with each block (in my experience anyway). Sounds like Chicago’s Uptown still has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the city.

  20. says


    I wasn’t clear. I’m not suggesting that Washington should get a pass nor do I think people should ignore bigoted language; however, doesn’t it strike you as strange that a beat down of a gay man by the police gets less comments than the whole Washington thing. Hell Pee-Wee Herman and his recent photos gets more attention here than this case. That’s a problem brother.


  21. Terry Wagar says

    Eric Carlson and Joan Wagar, A,K,A, Doubleclick and Mrs Dash,( yes those are there nicknames they gave each other.) admitted to poisoning me while I was a plasma donor back in 2005.
    Eric Carlson pedofied me behind prison walls and then framed me as a pedophile on march 26th 2007, I caught the crime on a audio recorder I put in Joan’s purse.
    there were people in authority helping them with this and nobody in authority will help they pretend nothing happened and refuse to investigate this.
    Eric Carlson changed his hair color and his name to Gashel and Clackamas Walmart was hiding him from my Family by pretending He’s someone else but this is not hidden, only ignored by the authority’s and media
    I’m disabled from being poisoned and the hospitals refuse to admit I’m poisoned.
    My Family is in danger from these people and I have no other recourse but to make these charges public.
    My name is Terry Wagar,Im from Portland Oregon and I’m backing up these charges.
    I have been threatened with harassment charges by a Sargent Walker, She is a Portland Police officer stationed at the OHSU hospital, for the non crime of reporting a multi murder conspiracy within that hospital.
    They dont give a s4!t Joan and Eric was poisoning a plasma donor!
    And how many god damn John Ray’s in authority are there in portland oregon!
    You damn serial killer.
    Where did Mrs Dash keep her stash? in A Garlic Salt Shaker!
    What did Doubleclick do with his Dick? You Pedo!
    Why you hiding A body double for Clackamas Walmart?

  22. Amber Carter says

    Hey, I am a lesbian and I am in a relationship with Alexander Rupperts daughter Paige Ruppert. Paige had showed me this just a hour ago. Alexander Ruppert Passed away June 12th 2009. I never met him but I wish i did.