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City Council Finance Committee To Vote On $1.9 Million In Settlements In Lawsuits Accusing Police Of Misconduct

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago taxpayers could soon be on the hook for nearly $2 million in legal settlements involving three lawsuits accusing police officers of misconduct, including the shooting death of a teenager in 2016, and a woman who accused a convicted former Chicago cop of sexually assaulting her when she was 14.

The City Council Finance Committee on Monday will consider proposed settlements in three lawsuits against current and former Chicago police officers.

The city's Law Department is seeking a $300,000 settlement with a woman who sued the city and former Officer William Whitley, who is now serving a 25-year prison sentence for paying underage girls for sex.

One of Whitley's victims, who sued under the pseydonym "Jane Doe," accused the city of allowing Whitley to "act with impunity and to use his police power to lure and intimidate his victims without fear of repercussion."

The lawsuit claims Whitley faced at least 29 misconduct complaints during his time on the force, only seven of which were sustained.

In one of the sustained complaints, Whitley was suspended for verbally abusing and kicking a suspect in custody, and in another he was suspended for failing to write a report or arrest a man who had beaten his 19-year-old girlfriend with a pipe, according to the lawsuit.

Half of the complaints that were not sustained involved claims of verbal abuse or excessive force against civilians, most of them women, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also claims Whitley was accused of leaving 46 homemade pictures of "nude and scantily clad women in a box on the dashboard of his department vehicle," but that complaint was not sustained because the squad car had not been used for a shift before the pictures were found, and investigators couldn't determine if someone planted them after Whitley's shift.

According to the lawsuit, the complaints against Whitley should have raised red flags about Whitley's predatory behavior towards women.

"The city investigated the complaints in a sloppy, incomplete manner, almost never sustaining the complaints, going out of its way to avoid having to seriously discipline him and/or fire him," the lawsuit states. "The manner in which the City of Chicago investigated Officer Whitley was part of a consistent decades-long pattern of the City of Chicago turning a blind eye to obvious police misconduct."

The lawsuit accuses Whitley of knowingly soliciting sex from "Jane Doe" in June of 2015, when she was 14, and he should have known she was a minor. The lawsuit also claims Whitley paid her to perform sex acts on him at least five times between June and September 2015.

"The Plaintiff had braces at the time and was obviously underage," the lawsuit states.

The FBI began investigating Whitley in September 2015 as part of a sting operation in a sex trafficking probe. An undercover agent met with Jane Doe, and duet to two outstanding warrants against her, she agreed to cooperate with the feds.

In 2018, Whitely pleaded guilty to frequently paying four underage girls for sex, and was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.

In addition to the proposed settlement in Jane Doe's lawsuit against Whitley and the city, the Law Department is also seeking a $1.2 million settlement with Tambrasha Hudson, whose 16-year-old son, Pierre Loury, was shot and killed by police in 2016.

Police have said Pierre bailed out of a car involved in a shooting on the West Side, and officers shot him when he pointed a gun at them, but Hudson's lawsuit claims her son was climbing a fence when he was shot.

Police said a gun was recovered at the scene, but his mother disputed that.

"No, he didn't have a gun, but they saying he did after the fact," Hudson said the day after the shooting.

The lawsuit also accuses the officer who shot Pierre and his partner of conspiring "to prepare false, misleading, and incomplete official reports and to give a false, incomplete, and misleading versions of the events to their superiors and to the public."

"In order to cover up their misconduct, they falsely claimed that Pierre placed them in imminent fear of bodily harm," the lawsuit states.

Another settlement on the agenda for the Finance Committee involves a lawsuit filed by Jwan Yawer on behalf of her late son, Shwan Yawer, accusing police officers of punching, beating, kicking, and dragging Shwan down the stairs of his Lakeview apartment building while responding to a robbery call from his roommate in 2014.

According to the lawsuit, Shwan brought two men home in June 2014 to listen to music he had recorded, when one of them asked to use the bathroom. Shwan told the man the bathroom was upstairs, and while the man was upstairs, Shwan's roommate came home and found the man in his room, and suspected him of stealing electronics.

The roommate called 911 and locked himself in his bedroom without telling Shwan he had called the police to report a robbery, the lawsuit states.

The two men Shwan had brought to the apartment left before police showed up, and when officers showed knocked on the door, they told him they were responding to a robbery in progress, and forced their way inside, according to the lawsuit.

The officers accused Shwan of robbery, despite his efforts to tell them he lived in the apartment, prompting him to suffer a panic attack, the lawsuit states.

After Shwan again told police that he lived in the apartment, and had done nothing wrong, officers began to punch him in the face, slam his head into the ground, and then kick and beat him, before dragging him down the stairs by his feet, causing his head to hit each step, according to the lawsuit.

The trauma caused Shwan to lose consciousness, and suffer a dislocated elbow.

Shwan has since passed away, but the lawsuit does not blame his death on the injuries he suffered during the incident.

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