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http://www.dailysouthtown.com/news/3755 ... 08.article

Chicago to pay $2M to wounded Bulls celebrants

May 8, 2007
Staff writer Jonathan Lipman
Chicago is still paying for its last NBA championship.

A city council committee today recommended a $2 million settlement in a police-brutality case stemming from the 1998 Bulls victory celebrations. The full council is expected to approve the deal Wednesday.

On the night of June 14, 1998, after the Bulls beat the Utah Jazz, police fired 25 bullets into a car carrying 11 young people, including teenagers, wounding several, the city said.

All of the youths were in one car and had been turned away from a liquor store after police and the store owner told them it was closed. They drove away.

"According to the store manager and police, the car made a U-turn and then pulled up at a high rate of speed onto the sidewalk and police fired at the car," Karen Seimetz, the city’s first assistant corporation counsel, said at a city council finance committee meeting today.

Officers said they fired in self-defense, the city said, believing the car would hit them. Those in the car said they posed no threat. Bullets hit the front, side and rear of the car, the city said.

Of the five plaintiffs named in the new settlement, one took four bullets in the side, one was shot twice in the buttocks, one was shot in the elbow and side, and one had a minor leg wound. Another said he was grazed but did not seek medical attention, the city said.

Two other people in the car have already settled separate cases. One woman got $300,000 while Francis Bell, who lost an eye, got $1.75 million.

Internal discipline charges were brought against all of the officers involved, but none of those charges was sustained, Seimetz said.

"We’ve paid almost $4 million and yet there is no finding on the part of the city that any of these police officers engaged in any kind of misconduct?" Ald. Joe Moore (49th) asked. "It seems to me that either we didn’t do a good enough job of investigating the alleged misconduct or we’re giving away money."

Jonathan Lipman can be reached at [email protected] or (312) 782-1286.
 

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Alderman Moore said:
"We’ve paid almost $4 million and yet there is no finding on the part of the city that any of these police officers engaged in any kind of misconduct?" Ald. Joe Moore (49th) asked. "It seems to me that either we didn’t do a good enough job of investigating the alleged misconduct or we’re giving away money."
Or it could be that the police realize that a lawsuit is has slightly different fact finding processes that differentiate it from an "internal investigation."
 
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