City To Pay $3M Settlement In Fatal Police Shooting
CHICAGO (CBS) – The city of Chicago would pay $3 million to the family of a man shot by a Chicago cop eight years ago, under a settlement approved by the City Council Finance Committee on Friday.
In March 2003, Chicago Police Officer Alvin Weems shot and killed Michael Pleasance, 23, at the 95th Street station on the CTA Red Line.
As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Pleasance’s family sued over the shooting and, on Friday, the Finance Committee signed off on a $3 million settlement. The proposal now goes to the full City Council for approval.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Craig Dellimore Reports
Weems shot Pleasance in the head at point-blank range while trying to break up a brawl in which Pleasance was merely a bystander.
The officer initially said that Pleasance lunged at him and tried to grab his gun during the fight.
But video from a CTA surveillance camera showed Pleasance was standing off to the side and apparently trying to talk to Weems when the officer raised his gun and shot Pleasance in the face.
After that video came out, both Weems and city officials admitted the shooting was unjustified.
Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said a court judgment would have been a lot more than the $3 million settlement.
In 2007, a Cook County jury awarded Pleasance’s family $12 million for the shooting, but an appeals court later tossed out that verdict.
Georges also said that the Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards recommended the officer be fired, but then-Police Supt. Phil Cline reduced the punishment to a 30-day suspension.
Under questioning from Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), Georges acknowledged that Weems was still employed by the Police Department and has since been promoted to the rank of detective.