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$32.75 Million Ends Two Chicago Police Misconduct Cases

On January 16, 2013, the Chicago City Council agreed to pay out $32.75 million to settle two police misconduct cases.

            One week before the case was set for trial, the City Council agreed to pay $22.5 million — the largest police misconduct settlement in Chicago's history — to settle a California woman's claims that police misconduct resulted in her brutal rape and near death. That settlement is expected to grow to at least $45 million, through investment, according to Jeffrey Singer, the Plaintiff's attorney.

            In May 2006, then 21-year old college student Christina Eilman was arrested at Chicago's Midway International Airport, because she was acting strangely.

            Christina's parents phoned police from California and asked them not to release her because she was bipolar. Police ignored their request, however, and released her into a high-crime area of Chicago to fend for herself.

            Christina was ultimately raped at knife-point by a man in a public housing building. She was then pushed, or she fell, from a seventh story window.

            When the family brought suit against the City, Christina was just coming out of a coma and she could not eat or breathe without the assistance of machines, said Singer.

            "We thought that her medical expenses could be $1 million a year and her life expectancy was going be close to 60 years at that time," Singer noted. She made a remarkable recovery, however, reducing her medical expenses dramatically, he said.

            Even so, Christina's parents called the settlement a "bittersweet victory," because she still must endure extensive ongoing therapy.

            "No amount of money will bring back the daughter we knew, the lovely young woman who was full of life and accepting of all people," said her mother Kathleen and stepfather Richard Paine. "Her life was dramatically changed after she came to Chicago and found herself in the grasp of several insensitive and uncaring police officers and detention aides who humiliated her, directed cruel and insensitive comments toward her, ignored her desperate need for help and placed her in harm's way."

            The City Council also agreed to pay $10.25 million to a man who served 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

            Alton Logan was one of the victims of Chicago's notorious police torture scandal involving officers under former Lieutenant John Burge. The Burge Unit framed suspects and tortured many into confessing to crimes they did not commit. Logan's settlement is the largest of any of the Burge Unit cases.

Source: The Associated Press

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