In the News: 8th Grader Injured by Chicago Police SUV
On May 31, 2020, Astarte Washington, a fifteen year old teenager, was injured in a way that could affect her for the rest of her life. As she was walking home from her grandmother’s house near 97th and Yale, she saw Chicago Police Officers responding to reports that people were looting near Michigan and 111th Street.
Chicago Police Officers on the scene ordered Astarti to get down on the ground. Astarti promptly complied with the police officer’s orders. While she was lying face up in the street, a police officer exited their vehicle. It is reported that the officer was attempting to help someone else. As the police officer was helping someone else, they noticed the empty police vehicle begin to roll back. The empty police vehicle continued to roll and eventually injured another officer and Astarti. It is reported that the police officer did not put the vehicle into park before exiting the vehicle.
According to news reports, Astarti was transported by ambulance to Christ Hospital where she received medical treatment and was eventually stabilized. News reports state that Astarti suffered several broken bones; specifically, a broken pelvis. The lawsuit filed by the family against the Chicago Police Department also makes claims for physical scars and emotional duress.
Astarti, voted “Most Athletic” in her class and basketball star, excelled in both sports and academics. Astarti has aspirations of playing for the WNBA, but is afraid that she will now won’t ever competitively play basketball again. Astarti and her family filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department and the City for the injuries she sustained in this occurrence. This complaint comes at a time where scrutiny of police departments all over the country are at an all time high.
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Chicago Police Department Accountability
The Chicago Police Department is no stranger to lawsuits for a variety of reasons and allegations. These types of cases include, but are not limited to, allegations of civil rights violations, car crashes, racial discrimination, and sexual harassment suits. In early November 2019, the Chicago Police Department released an Accountability Dashboard, which allows for the public to look at the information for each office misconduct complaint. Impressively, from January 2007 through February 2019, there have been over 40,000 complaints filed against police officers due to misconduct. That is over 3,300 complaints a year.
The High Cost of Lawsuits and Allegations Against the City of Chicago
With the increase of allegations against the City of Chicago and its police departments, it has brought on private attorneys to help defend the cases in both state and federal courts. In 2018 alone, the City of Chicago spent $30,000,000 on private attorneys. In 2018, the City paid out $97,900,000 in verdicts, settlements, or payouts of costs to the opposing attorneys. Simple math shows that litigation cost for the City in 2018 was approximately $130,000,000.
In terms of paying money in cases, since 2004, the City of Chicago has spent approximately $757,000,000 on settlements, verdicts, and other payouts. Under Mayor Emmanuel and the last few years of his time as mayor, the costs of these suits continued to grow at an alarming rate.
How to Get Help if You Are Injured by a Chicago Police Officer
The Chicago Police Department and its officers can be just as negligent or reckless as any other driver on the road. The numerous complaints and pay outs in both settlements and attorney’s fees show this. The numbers also show that even though the at-fault defendant is a police officer, it is still possible to pursue justice. A badge is not a barrier to someone seeking compensation for the injuries and trauma they received. The City is clearly able and willing to spend lots of moneys to defend these actions and claims, which is important you seek counsel with experienced attorneys.
It is important to remember:
- The CPD can be held accountable
- The City of Chicago has settled numerous complaints
- It is possible to pursue justice, even with an at-fault defendant who is a police officer
- Seek council from an experienced attorney
If you have questions about a car accident, an encounter with the police, or were injured due to someone’s negligence, do not hesitate to reach out to us at the Kryder Law Group by phone at 312-223-1700, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the interactive chat client on our website for a free and confidential consultation. The facts that are specific and unique to your situation will determine whether you are entitled to compensation under the law and whether you can recover monetary damages. It is important to contact our office soon because under Illinois law, there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. We know injuries are incredibly stressful, so please read the positive reviews on our Google page and see how we’ve helped countless others handle similar injuries.