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Personal Injury Law: Chicago Injury Attorney Blog
Chicago to Pay $3M in Fatal 2003 Police Shooting on a South Side CTA Platform
Eight years after 23-year-old Michael Pleasance was fatally shot by police in a Red Line Station, the Delay Administration will settle the family?s Chicago wrongful death lawsuit for $3 million. A jury had originally awarded the plaintiffs $12.5 million in December 2007. An appellate court overturned the verdict last year. Settling for $3 million prevents a retrial.
Officer Alvin Weems shot Pleasance in the head by on a South Side CTA platform. Although police had said that Pleasance went toward the Chicago cop, who was at the scene to check on a reported fight, in a menacing manner, video footage shows no physical contact between the two before Weems shot his weapon. Pleasance was an innocent bystander in the fight that Weems was there to break up. Many people saw the recording of the shooting on YouTube.
In 2006, Weems admitted that he himself considered the shooting unjustified. He said that he wasn't worried for his life when he fired his weapon but that he didn't mean to shoot Pleasance.
The Illinois Appellate Court threw out the original verdict after finding that the trial jury had been prejudiced by the use of the phrase ?willful and wanton? to describe Weems?s behavior. The $3 million may not be as high as the original award but it was the amount that the trial judge recommended.
Unjustified Police Shootings
A police officer that shoots someone without just cause is using excessive force. There are other ways to detain a suspect?especially one that does not pose a deadly threat to the cop or those around. That said, excessive force doesn?t have to involve the use of a gun. Unnecessary physical force, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and unwarranted use of a Taser are all examples of excessive use of police force that are violations of a victim?s rights and may be grounds for a Chicago police brutality case.
Family of unarmed man fatally shot in face by cop gets $3 million, Chicago Sun-Times, March 4, 2011
City could pay $3 million to settle police shooting of unarmed man on Red Line, Chicago Tribune, March 4, 2011
Related Web Resource:
Chicago Police Department
More Blog Posts:
Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Accuses Des Plaines Police of Excessive Use of Force, Chicago Injury Attorney, January 17, 2011
Man Files Cook County Police Brutality Lawsuit Accusing Riverdale Police of Tasering Him Because He was Too Big to Fit into Police Car, Chicago Injury Attorney, August 16, 2010
Man Files Federal Lawsuit Against Cop and Village of Streamwood Alleging Cook County Police Brutality, Chicago Injury Attorney, May 28, 2010
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