Despite paying out $4.5 million to the family of Freddie Latrice Wilson, who was shot and killed by Chicago police officers, none of the three officers involved received any discipline. The recently settled lawsuit accused the officers of planting a gun on Wilson to make it look like he posed a threat.
In November 2007, Wilson was pulled over for a broken headlight near the 5400 block of West Madison Street in Chicago. Two officers approached the vehicle before another squad car arrived with two more officers.
Shortly thereafter, three of those officers fired a total of 24 shots and Wilson was hit 18 times. The officers claimed Wilson reached behind his back, pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at them. Witnesses, however, said Wilson was unarmed.
A black handgun was found at the scene, but it didn’t have Wilson’s blood or fingerprints on it. Wilson’s wrongful death attorney alleged that the officers tried to cover up their murder by planting the gun.
In the end, the city of Chicago settled the case because the forensic evidence contradicted the officers’ claim that Wilson threatened them with a gun. The $4.5 million will go to Wilson’s five children, ages 7-19.
Even though it appears the officers lied, they still have their jobs and haven’t received any discipline.
The personal injury law firm of Hupy and Abraham also handled a similar case in Milwaukee. Daniel Bell, a 22-year-old unarmed man, was shot and killed by Officer Thomas Grady in 1958. Officer Grady planted a knife on Bell to make it look like he was armed. The officer initially got away with it.
20 years later, Grady’s partner implicated him and Grady pled guilty to reckless homicide and perjury. After the truth came out, Bell’s family received a $1.6 million settlement.