Council Panel OKs Nearly $4M In Settlements Over Police Lawsuits

CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council’s Finance Committee has approved millions of dollars in settlements of lawsuits stemming from deaths of people who were being held in police lockups and other alleged police misconduct.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, aldermen expressed serious concerns in the wake of about $4 million dollars worth of settlements of lawsuits from deaths in police detention cells in recent years, as well as other allegations of police wrongdoing.

Finance Committee Chairman, Ald. Edward Burke (14th), said some of the cases sounded like something you might hear out of North Korea or a Soviet gulag.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

In one case, according to First Assistant Corporation Counsel Leslie Darling, 52-year-old Rafe McMullan, who had a heart condition, was being held in a lockup three years ago when he loudly complained of pain, nausea and vomiting and begged to be taken to a doctor, but wasn’t.

“When he was discovered by personnel and examined by paramedics on the scene Mr. McMullan was in full rigor mortis, a condition that begins within two to six hours after death,” Darling said.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former police officer, asked how something like that could happen.

“I was the watch commander in central detention for three years and part of the process is that supervisors, as well as detention aides, go and check cells every 15 minutes.”

The city has agreed to settle that case for $1 million. It’s also giving $2 million to the family of Patricia Cobige, a 46-year-old drug suspect who died of a heart problem in a police lockup in 2006 despite calling for help.

The other cases include a $290,000 settlement with a 26-year-old quadriplegic who allegedly was beaten by police and a $560,000 settlement with an Iraq War veteran who spent two months behind bars after being arrested for an armed robbery he did not commit.

Meantime, Burke said he wants an outside investigation of lockup conditions.

  • tom Sharp

    Why doesn’t Burke go whole hog and spend some “quality Time’ in the lock up to get some first-hand experience!

  • Fed up

    We the innocent tax payers are becoming the life insurance company for the misfits in society. You don’t have to pay premiums-we wouldn’t want to bother you for that, no medical exam. When you are ready to collect for your family you go out and do something stupid or criminal and them sinmply die while in custody. Bam, it is the peoples fault. The only good part of all this is that they are dead.

    • Lyndia

      Like you should be.

    • Reasonable Doubt

      When the police learn the are not above the law, these waste of tax payers money will stop. Fed up, I trust noting like this happens to you or anyone close to you.

    • Tyreese

      I agree, Fed Up. Only criminals like the two other repliers to your comment would take the criminal’s side. Lyndia hates whitey and the police and continually defends the criminal element.

  • Jim Hamilton

    The Committee on Rules reviewed the proposal of the Republican-led effort to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed weapons by obtaining a permit in another state
    and other amendments Monday evening to decide which were suitable for consideration on the House floor. However, the Illinois effort did not make the cut.

  • Jim Hamilton

    And oh…I forgot….:Cesspool

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