Chicago paid out over $2 million in settlements after two people died from police misconduct. Why did these cases have such a high value?

Feb 23, 2020 10:00 PM ET

Taxpayers in Chicago will be on the hook for millions of dollars due to settlements related to police misconduct.

There are two different settlement agreements that have been finished, one is related to a 2015 case and the other is related to an incident in 2017. Both cases will pay the victims over $1 million each.

 

Two young men die during their interactions with the police

One incident involved officers who were involved in a vehicle chase at a high rate of speed, despite known risks to public safety. When officers responded to a call regarding shots fired in the area, they spotted a stolen vehicle and began to chase the suspect. The driver of the stolen vehicle ran a red light and hit two other cars. A passenger was injured, but the driver of one of the cars was pronounced dead by the Cook County Medical Examiner a short time later. The suspect in the stolen car was only found guilty of a misdemeanor for criminal trespass. The victim was a teenager who attended Chatham High School.

The second lawsuit was related to a 24 year old male who died while he was violently detained by the police in 2015. The victim was in custody for attempting to burglarize a garage in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Dashcam video from the officers shows the suspect moving around on the ground, then sitting next to a police car while he was handcuffed. He briefly attempts to move away, but an officer puts his foot down on the victim’s neck and several others join in to stop him. When medical personnel arrived later, they found the victim unresponsive in the back of a police van. Emergency personnel confirmed that he had died before he was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for mental health issues. The medical examiner’s report found that the stress of being restrained was a significant cause of the death. Even though the victim’s family filed a civil rights lawsuit, the local State Attorney declined to file any criminal charges against the officers involved.

 

The value of a police brutality lawsuit

It is difficult to predict the value of any civil lawsuit. As a general rule, defendants will have to pay out more money if they are at fault for serious injuries or death. However, there are a lot of variables that determine how much any case will be worth. It is extremely helpful for a plaintiff if there is clear video evidence of police wrongdoing that leaves little room for defense.

 

Talk to an attorney about suing the police

Some lawyers focus their practice on assisting people after the police have harmed them. Budin Law Offices can discuss your injuries and the possibility of a lawsuit.

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Budin Law Offices
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Chicago, IL 60602
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