Chicago OK's $9.5M Settlement: White Cops Cracked Latino Man's Head on Pavement For "Refusing" Medical Aid

From [HERE] and [HEREThe Chicago City Council has agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a Latino man who was severely injured when a white police officer jolted him with a Taser and he fell and hit his head on the pavement, court records show.

Lopez's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, said he was not combative before he was shocked and crashed to the pavement. Officers alleged that he took a swing at them before Officer Stevan Vidljinovic tased him, according to court records.

Sandra Cardiel sued Chicago police officers on behalf of her husband, Jose Lopez, in Federal Court. Her husband was walking down a sidewalk on the South Side at around 3 a.m. on July 22, 2011 when he began feeling chest pains and his friend called 911 to ask for an ambulance.

Chicago police officers also went in response to the emergency dispatch. At least three or four squad cars of the Chicago Police Department arrived on the scene before or simultaneous with the arrival of the Chicago Fire Department ambulance. ...

When the Chicago police officers ordered plaintiff to stop and come to them, Lopez told them he did not want their help and said he was just fine.

As the Chicago police officers continued to order Lopez to come to them, he was unarmed and non-combative, but told the police that he did not want their assistance.

He disregarded their order, turned, continued to retreat in a direction away from them, and started walking toward his car. As is their want, custom, and practice to so do, when a citizen of the community refuses an order to stop and continues to walk away, the cops draw and use their Taser guns to force compliance.

Ms. Cardiel says there were "more than an ample number" of police officers and firefighters there to seize and restrain her husband, if need be, without Tasering him. In fact, she says, he was "surrounded" by cops and firemen.

But "Because (Lopez) had not heeded their order to stop and come to them, the Cops drew their Taser guns, and without any right or reason to so do, immediately Tased Lopez, sending an electric shock through Lopez's body strong enough to cause him to crash violently to the pavement, crack open his head, and cry out with horrible sounds of pain.

The Chicago police officers immediately rushed him, violently turned him facedown on the sidewalk, and, without any right to so do, handcuffed him behind his back, the complaint states.

Whereupon, Cardiel says, "the Chicago police officers denied that they had done anything wrong to anyone who would listen, including the ambulance paramedics and the bystanders who gathered at the scene."

Cardiel says: Since moments after Tasing Lopez was rendered unconscious and remained in a coma for at least a year.

Upon arrival at Mount Sinai Hospital Emergency Room, Lopez was found to have suffered a traumatic brain injury with subdural hematoma as well as a left temporal lobe contusion.

After being evaluated by neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, plaintiff underwent a subdural hematoma evacuation and craniotomy and right temporal lobectomy."

Lopez's lawsuit went to trial in February and lasted more than two weeks. A jury found that Vidljinovic used excessive force and unlawfully seized Lopez. Jurors determined the evidence didn't show Lopez swung at police. Before jurors could determine damages, the parties reached a settlement, court records show.

She originally sought at least $4 million in punitive and compensatory damages for false seizure, excessive force, assault and battery, and emotional distress.

The latest in a parade of costly settlements stemming from alleged police wrongdoing is expected to be approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee on Tuesday and the full Council on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit seeking federal court oversight over the Chicago Police Department.

After months of resistance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was finally on board and vowed to negotiate with Madigan to finalize a consent decree with rigid timetables and financial commitments toward police reform.