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CHICAGO (CBS) — The full City Council Wednesday will vote on a nearly three-quarter of a million dollar settlement in a case of rogue cops shaking down drug dealers.
As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, the City Council Finance Committee has voted its approval.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
Chicago First Deputy Corporation Counsel Leslie Darling says members or friends of a South Side family named Wilkins say they were harassed and shaken down by Officer Corey Flagg, and other officers who were targeting drug dealers.
“Plaintiffs Wilkins and Craft claimed that Flagg threatened them, physically abused them, and threatened to plant drugs and arrest them, unless they provided him with proceeds from drug deals,” Darling said.
Plaintiffs Sharon Wilkins and David Stewart have said that week in and week out in 2004, the rogue cops showed up at Wilkins’ mother’s home in the Roseland neighborhood, smashing down the door if no one answered and then getting really nasty if the residents didn’t cough up enough money.
“They would rough us up, put us all down in handcuffs — handcuff my old, sick mother — point guns at people, kick you,” Wilkins, 44, recalled Friday, one day after city lawyers agreed to pay her family $700,000 to settle a federal lawsuit against the city and the crooked cops.
The officers started showing up to the house early in 2004, having learned that Wilkins’ brother had a criminal history.
The officers repeatedly threatened to plant drugs on the brother and arrest him if they didn’t receive enough money, the family said. During one visit, an officer held a handgun to the head of Stewart and Wilkins’ son, Rashi Gant, then 10 years old.
“I thought he was going to shoot me,” Gant, now 18, recalled Friday.
The abuse lasted through much of 2004, the family said.
The officers were later arrested on federal drug distribution charges.
Flagg and three other officers were later convicted of shaking down drug dealers.
In 2008, a federal judge sentenced Flagg, the ringleader of the group, to nine years in prison. Flagg got a break because he cooperated with investigators in explaining how and the other rogue officers robbed drug dealers for cash and cocaine.
The Special Operations Section, to which Flagg and the other officers were assigned, was later disbanded.
The city has now recommended that the Council approve a $700,000 settlement for the victims. The plaintiffs had been demanding $2.5 million.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.