A man filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Chicago Crime Commission alleging the non-profit damaged his reputation by falsely stating he was a leader of a local gang in a law enforcement book.
Edward Arroyo says the Chicago Crime Commission’s Gang Book, which was released in January, falsely said he was a leader in Roselle of the Spanish Gangster Disciples, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit court.
Arroyo’s name and picture are featured on a page in the book dedicated to the Spanish Gangster Disciples leadership, but he says he is not affiliated with any gangs or “criminal enterprise,” according to the lawsuit.
“It’s beyond the point where a simple retraction will correct the situation,” said Lesley Pickering, one of Arroyo’s lawyers. Pickering said that the book also inaccurately states Arroyo’s birthday.
Information in the book is based on police records and interviews with informants, law enforcement and gang members, commission spokesman John Pastuovic said.
The commission has released new editions of the book every few years, and it makes the book available to law enforcement agencies, journalists and the general public, Pastuovic said.
Arroyo says he has suffered damage to his personal and occupational reputation along with “extreme emotional distress and mental suffering,” the lawsuit says.
“The main concern that I have and he has is for his safety,” Pickering said. “Other gangs can use it as a tool … He could be profiled by not only law enforcement but other rival gangs.”
The commission has not yet received a copy of the lawsuit, Pastuovic said, but he urged anyone who thinks the book contains inaccurate information to reach out to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
“We recommend that individuals with a legitimate dispute concerning the accuracy of the intelligence in the gang book seek the local law enforcement agency that provided this information to discuss their concerns,” Pastuovic said.