Latest: Reparations paid in Chicago police torture case
CHICAGO (AP) — The latest on scrutiny surrounding Chicago police shootings, including one in 2014 in which an officer has been charged with murder for killing a teenager (all times local):
The city of Chicago has paid out $5.5 million to 57 people whose claims that they were tortured by police decades ago were found to be credible.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1INETKY ) the money was paid Monday to victims of a police unit commanded by Jon Burge. Most victims received checks totaling $100,000.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the newspaper that before righting more recent wrongs in a police department that’s now the focus of a federal civil rights investigation, the city must heal wounds inflicted decades ago.
More than 100 men have accused Burge and officers under his command of shocking, suffocating and beating them into giving false confessions. Burge has never been criminally charged with torture, but he served a 4 ½-year sentence for lying about the torture in a civil case.
The newspaper reports the months-long claims process included vetting by an arbitrator and by a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Kent School of Law.
The city of Chicago’s law department says one of its lawyers accused by a federal judge of concealing evidence in a civil case regarding a fatal police shooting has resigned.
A statement from the department says Jordan Marsh submitted his resignation Monday.
Judge Edmond Chang earlier Monday criticized Marsh in his ruling. He said Marsh “intentionally concealed” important evidence in a civil trial that ended last year with jurors finding two officers were justified in killing Darius Pinex during a 2011 traffic stop.
Chang threw out that decision and ordered a new trial.
The law department’s statement says it “does not tolerate any action that would call into question the integrity of the lawyers who serve” Chicago.
But Chang also had criticism for the department as a whole in his ruling, including about its record keeping. The department’s statement says it’s continuing to review its procedures.
The five children of a woman who was shot to death by Chicago police have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
Fifty-five-year-old Bettie Jones was killed when a police officer opened fire on a 19-year-old man after they responded to a domestic disturbance call. The man, Quintonio LeGrier, was also killed. Police has called the shooting of Jones an accident and claim LeGrier was being combative toward officers before he was shot.
The lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court includes a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of the officer’s actions.
A wrongful death lawsuit was filed last week by the father of LeGrier. The lawsuit asserts LeGrier never had a weapon and did nothing to suggest he was a threat before police opened fire.
A federal judge in Chicago has ordered a new trial in a civil case focused on a fatal police shooting after he concluded a city lawyer sought to conceal evidence.
Judge Edmond Chang’s ruling Monday also blasts the city’s law department that defends accused police for shoddy record-keeping.
The ruling tosses a April jury decision that found two officers were justified in killing Darius Pinex during a 2011 traffic stop.
The officers had said they stopped Pinex because his car matched a description they heard on their police radio of a car suspected of involvement in an earlier shooting. But records emerged after the trial began that officers weren’t listening to the channel broadcasting the radio traffic about the suspect’s car. The judge said a city lawyer “intentionally concealed” that evidence.
The ruling comes in the wake of protests following the November release of video showing a white police officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Changes are coming to the agency that acts as a Chicago Police Department watchdog.
Sharon Fairley is acting head of the Independent Police Review Authority. She is planning a Monday afternoon news conference to detail restructuring efforts.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Fairley to reform the agency after outrage over shootings by police including one in which a video showed a white officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.
Fairley took the job in early December and IPRA says in a statement that since then she’s been determining areas where she can take immediate action. The authority was formed in September 2007.
IPRA says changes will include hiring new senior leaders, strengthening the agency’s legal team to increase oversight of the investigative process and establishing a community outreach manager.