Chicago council OKs $1.7M settlement in civil rights suit
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago City Council has voted to pay nearly $1.7 million to five people, including a Black woman who said police dragged her from a car by her hair at a shopping mall amid unrest following George Floyd’s 2020 killing.
The council voted 34-13 Wednesday to approve the $1.67 million settlement of a federal civil rights lawsuit Mia Wright and four relatives filed against the city.
Wright was a passenger in a car that arrived at the Brickyard Mall on May 31, 2020, amid widespread looting in the days after Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer.
Wright said she and four relatives drove to the mall to go shopping and did not realize it was closed due to the unrest. The lawsuit alleges police officers suddenly surrounded their car, broke the windows with their batons and pulled Wright out of the vehicle by her hair.
Wright alleged that the confrontation left her blind in one eye from flying glass caused by police breaking the car windows.
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Officers said they thought some members of Wright’s group were attempting to break into a store at the mall to steal goods, city lawyer Caroline Fronczak has said, but the officers also acknowledged nobody in the group matched the descriptions of the suspected looters.
After an investigation, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability recommended eight officers face discipline for their actions in the incident, ranging from firing to reprimands, and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown agreed with the recommendations, Fronczak said.
Under terms of the settlement, Wright will receive $650,000 in damages, while the other four people who were in the car with her will get $243,750 each, WBBM-TV reported.