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.

  • mac

    My belated condolences to the family of the innocent man.

    Police always forget there is a camera watching their every move, too. Cameras don’t lie.

  • chvi

    Now we have a gun happy detective loose on the streets????

  • Kenter

    Let’s get together and petition that Weems gets fired and then prosecuted (jail time) for his act and his lying to cover up. Furthermore the person/people that promoted him after the fact should be fired (they shouldn’t have the “we vs them (the people)” attitude and “that’s the chance you take for living in the city”. The real scary thing is that the cases of police getting caught on camera is statistically a small fraction of what must really go on. I suppose there are those, especially cops, who would cynically say “PROVE IT!!”.

    • Citizen

      There was no cover-up. what is the matter with you? Hate the police?

      • Kenter

        “The officer initially said that Pleasance lunged at him and tried to grab his gun during the fight.” “After that video came out, both Weems and city officials admitted the shooting was unjustified.”
        Did you read the whole thing? Their are many good cops, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t point out the bad ones and ones that would protect their own and say PROVE IT!! I should have said especially some cops instead of especially cops.

  • Kenter

    Accident? And what about the cover-up. You’re positively un-American if you don’t believe in equal protection under the law. Also when something is this egregious one is entitled to punitive damages. I got you as very WRONG!

  • Citizen


  • edward c. stengel

    Only the police can have a murder classified as an unjustiified shooting. Try putting a bullet in the head of a cop and see if you can get off with calling it an unjustified shooting. It’s bad enough this cop committed murder, lied about it, got a 30-day suspension, and a promotion, but he’s still carrying a gun. It took 8 years to appove a settlement for the family of the victim, and they still haven’t actually got it. The cops are murdering people all over the country, practically every day, tellling the same kind of liies you heard in this case. Remember this, about how a cop gets away with cold-blooded murder, the next time a citizen kills a cop, and instead of crying for the cop, cry for 23 year
    old man here who was shot in the head and murdered by Officer Weems.

    • Disgusted

      Murder is intentionaly killing someone. This was nothing more than an unfortunate accident. This officer didn’t even know he shot the wrong guy until after seeing the video. Police don’t murder people, they shoot black homies and others who need to be dealt with. You are obviously a police hater. Just don’t forget, if the police went away, the gang members would take over.

  • The Whole Truth

    Just saying what is your life or your child’s life worth???? The botton line is an innocent man is dead and no amount of money can replace that. It’s doesn’t matter where he was from or what his back ground is a life was taken and nothing can justify that.

  • SAM


    • Ralph

      It wasn’t murder dumba$$. It was an accident!

      • Tom

        Point- blank in the head is not an accident…

      • Ralph

        @Tom The officer was involved in a struggle and saw someone approaching from the side. He defended himself in the heat of battle. Unfotunately the wrong person ended up dead. It is a tragedy, but not intentional murder. Just an accident. We need to support our police.

      • Tom

        The guy he shot was just talking to him, not involved with the struggle… Manslaughter at the least =’s prison time…
        Hell there are police officers in jail for less! Just ask the poor Bill Cozzi…
        FREE BILL!

    • N

      THATS, the Chicago Way!

      • N

        Another winner of the Chicago Lottery!

  • NWA

    Need I say more?

  • David

    Wow! Nothing has change in Chicago – kill a black man and then get a promotion! Am I the only one outraged by this! Daley has talked about gun violence and gun control but nothing about the innocent life taken by this police officer who lied about the shooting then he is promoted to detective.

    • Sal

      Outraged? It was an ACCIDENT! Give him a break.

      • NWA

        I could never see this shooting as an ACCIDENT! As you shout?
        No, this was not a mistake and your friend, colleague or partner should not be given a do over. Why ever, this young man was standing there? Shooting him was not an ACCIDENT! Your friend should’ve lost his job and never, ever be allowed to work as an armed municipal employee and, never be able to carry a fire arm legally ever. PERIOD!


  • swizzle

    wait, so you can shoot people in the face and get a job promotion? those 6 dead cops last year wasn’t enough, it’s not even a good start.

  • Duh

    This was an accident.The guy was informing Weems
    about the initiator being the person Weems was
    not punishing,Weems then wanted him to “shut up”,
    ,he did not, so Weems accidentally killed him,and
    was given a medal and an accidental promotion
    rather than jail in a psycho unit.

  • WRJack

    So you’re saying where you’re from determines how you are treated, and your value is not worth much.

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