A Chicago middle school principal who was handcuffed in front of students and led to jail has filed a lawsuit seeking $10 million from the police department for accusing her of lying about a gun on campus to hasten officers’ response, the Chicago Tribune reports .
An attorney for Cheryl Marshall-Washington asserted that the arrest was made because the principal is black and the officer who ordered the arrest is white. “This is the first time in the history of the Chicago public school system … that a principal has been arrested in the presence of her students arising out of her performance of her duties,” said the lawyer, R. Eugene Pincham.
The incident occurred a year ago yesterday, when a fight broke out among six female students, one of them reportedly with a gun. Marshall-Washington, principal of the school since 1999, instructed an employee to call police. When a SWAT team arrived and found no gun, Marshall-Washington was accused of filing a false report and arrested on disorderly conduct charges. She was handcuffed, put behind bars and released on bail about 10 hours later, Pincham said.
The Cook County prosecutor said a judge set aside her conviction after learning that a school district inspector had been told by a Chicago police officer that there was a gun at the scene.