It’s almost impossible to go literally one week without reading another story in the Chicago media about the city paying out another huge settlement in a police misconduct case. The latest settlement to get attention in Chicago newspapers and TV is for $3.2 million, but this is literally a drop in the bucket to what the city has paid out in recent year. Since 2004, the city of Chicago has paid out more than $500 million to settle complaints of police misconduct. And each of these latest claims alone has settled for more than $1 million.
So what police misconduct resulted in these latest settlements? Read on to find out.
Chicago Police Shootings Continue to be a Problem
Earlier this month, the City Council Finance Committee approved two misconduct settlements. The first is for $2.2 million, while the second is for $1 million.
In the first incident, a 23-year-old man reportedly hit another vehicle and drove off while on his way to his overnight job at a sausage factory.
Police claimed that after this initial hit-and-run the man forced a police cruiser off the roadway slammed into the back of another vehicle. Police then claimed that they blocked the man’s vehicle into an alley, and the man pinned one off-duty officer to the front of his car.
Chicago police officers then fired 42 shots at the man, striking him 16 times.
However, forensic evidence has raised serious questions about the account given by police officers. If indeed an officer was stuck by the man’s vehicle, he could not have fired his gun at him as he claims. In addition, tire tracks at the scene, purportedly from the suspect’s vehicle, appear to have to have been faked. Evidence later uncovered in the course of the lawsuit also showed that the off-duty police officer had been drinking before the incident, and Chicago police did not thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the suspect’s death. For example, rather than interview witnesses, one police officer submitted a report simply made up of a typed narrative from another officer.
The second settlement, for $1 million, also included allegations of the police fabricating that evidence. In that case, a 27-year-old man under investigation for alleged involvement a cell phone theft ring, was shot by police after allegedly pinning a police officer between two vehicles. However, just as in the other case, forensic evidence called that official story into question. It actually appears as if the man may have been shot while fleeing the scene rather than harming a police officer.
Contact a Chicago Police Misconduct Lawyer
There is perhaps no greater breach of trust than when police officers ignore the law to injure or kill innocent people without provocation. But as these latest settlements illustrate, such activity is all too common in the city of Chicago. If your civil rights have been violated by police officers, you too may be entitled to compensation from the city. Contact Barney & Hourihane today to discuss your case with a dedicated Chicago civil rights attorney.