City Panel Endorses Proposal to Pay $525K to Teen Run Over by Chicago Police Car During George Floyd Unrest

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

A proposal to pay $525,000 to the family of a 15-year-old girl run over by a Chicago police SUV during the unrest triggered by the police murder of George Floyd nearly four years ago is set for a final vote by the Chicago City Council.

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A final vote to resolve the lawsuit filed by Astarte Washington’s family is set for May 22, the same day the Chicago City Council is set to consider a recommendation to pay $750,000 to a Chicago man whose leg was broken by police during a downtown protest.

If both settlements are approved, Chicago taxpayers have spent at least $6.8 million to defend and settle lawsuits alleging Chicago police officers committed a wide range of misconduct during the protests and unrest during the summer of 2020, according to an analysis by WTTW News.

Unable to catch a bus home from her grandmother’s home because officials shut down the system on the afternoon of May 31, 2020, as the unrest began to spread, Washington set off on the four mile walk home with her brother.

City lawyers told alderpeople Monday that a Chicago Police officer working to quell the unrest and looting swirling near 111th Street and Michigan Avenue ordered the teen to the ground as she helped a relative carry a garbage can full of new clothes down the middle of the street.

As she laid in the street, following officers’ orders, CPD Officer Christopher Holmes stopped the Ford Explorer he was driving near Washington – and “forgot” to put it in park before he hopped out of the vehicle.

The SUV was still in reverse, and rolled over Washington’s legs and torso, fracturing her hip and leaving the teen, who was the acting student council president and captain of the basketball team, with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the suit filed by her family.

The City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously advanced the proposed settlement to the full City Council.

In other action, the Finance Committee endorsed a recommendation from city attorneys to pay $940,000 to Lamar Johnson, who was hospitalized for a month after a car being pursued by Chicago police crashed into him in June 2019.

In all, Chicago taxpayers have nearly $100 million since 2019 to resolve lawsuits brought by nearly two dozen people injured during police pursuits, according to an analysis of city data by WTTW News.

The series of events that led to the crash that injured Johnson began when a police officer attempted to stop a car for having a broken taillight. When the car fled, the officer pursued it, even though police department rules prohibit chases in cases where the only reason for the stop is a non-criminal investigation.

The officer involved was reprimanded, city lawyers said.

In addition, the Finance Committee endorsed a recommendation from city lawyers to pay $1.75 million to the family of a 33-year-old woman who died by suicide inside a South Side police station.

Irene Chavez died while being detained in a holding cell in December 2021. The window to that cell was partially obscured with paper, obstructing the ability of the officer in charge of Chavez from observing her.

Officers also ignored Chavez’s pleas to speak with her therapist and get her medication, according to city lawyers.

A final vote on all of the settlements, which come with a total cost of $3.2 million, could come at the City Council meeting set for May 22.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal ideation, you can call or text 988 to access the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or find help online at 988lifeline.org.


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