City Council approves $33M to settle police misconduct cases - FOX 32 News Chicago

City Council approves $33M to settle police misconduct cases

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Alton Logan Alton Logan
Christina Eilman Christina Eilman
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The City Council weighed a tough financial decision Tuesday: Whether to dole out nearly $33 million to settle separate lawsuits. They OK'ed multi-million dollar settlements in two police misconduct cases.

The first case is of Christina Eilman, a 27-year-old California woman who was arrested in 2006 at Midway Airport after she had a bipolar breakdown and caused a disturbance.

SEE: Chicago to settle mentally ill woman's lawsuit for $22M

Police heedlessly released her the next day into a section of the South Side that a federal judge compared to the Lion's Den at Brookfield Zoo. She was only wearing short shorts and a cut-off top in the high-crime area.

The then 21-year-old was raped in a now-demolished CHA high-rise. Afterward, she fell seven stories from the building and subsequently suffered a permanent brain injury.

"As I sit here today, I'm both embarrassed and ashamed. I'm embarrassed to think that a poor girl like this would have been so callously treated by members of the Chicago Police Department," Ald. Ed Burke (14th) said.

Eilman likely will never recover from the monstrous attack and the injuries she sustained. Her parents oversee the former UCLA student's care in California. But Eilman herself is not insured.

The city proposed a $22.5 million settlement to her family, which a unanimous City Council Finance Committee approved.

While acknowledging that Eilman was horribly mistreated, 3rd ward Ald. Pat Dowell took issue with the federal judge's written comparison of the Robert Taylor homes to a lion's cage in a zoo.

"I think that comparing a community to animals is inappropriate," Ald. Dowell said. "It could have been another way to say that. And while I agree with the settlement, I think the crime was atrocious, I think the behavior of the officers leaves much to be desired. I take exception with the language used by the court in describing the community in which it happened."

Their comments were made the Tuesday morning meeting of the City Council Finance Committee.

The other case in question is that of Alton Logan, who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. He was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1983.

SEE: City to pay $10.2M in another Burge misconduct case

Another man had confessed, but that stayed hidden for decades because of attorney client privilege.

After Logan was ruled innocent in 2008, he sued City Hall. He claimed infamous former Police commander Jon Burge concealed key evidence pointing to serial murderer Andrew Wilson as the real killer in the crime for which Logan was convicted.

Mayor Emanuel proposed a $10.2 million settlement for Logan, which he and lawyer Jon Loevy will split. But, Logan was in no mood to celebrate Tuesday.

"The police or the prosecutors..they don't care who they get, as long as they get someone," Logan said.

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