Friday, June 13, 2008

A woman spent 10 months in jail after helping police officers

I just saw this story on the WGN news tonight:
Rachelle Jackson, a southside Chicago woman, won $7.9 million dollars in her federal civil rights claim. "Rachelle is a hero, and the jury knew it," said Christopher R. Smith, one of the attorneys for Rachelle Jackson.

On November 19, 2002, Rachelle Jackson heard twisting metal and ran to aid the occupants of a Chicago Police vehicle that had been in a car crash. The car caught fire, but Rachelle rescued Chicago Police Officer Kelly Brogan from the car anyway. Many residents responded to aid the officers. During the chaos, someone stole the service weapon of Officer Brogan's partner, who lay slumped over the steering wheel unconscious. Rachelle went to the police station to be a witness.

Once there, officers subjected Rachelle to over fifty hours of coercive and abusive interrogation, without access to a bathroom. Days later, Officer Kelly Brogan, who Rachelle rescued, came forward with a lie that Rachelle Jackson had attempted to remove her star and steal her gun; Rachelle claimed she pulled the officer from the burning car. After over ten months in jail, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Schultz exonerated Rachelle of wrongdoing, just as the federal jury did yesterday. The eyewitnesses, except for Officer Brogan, all corroborated Rachelle's story.

The jury found in favor of Rachelle on six claims, as follows: Federal False Arrest - $150,000.00; State False Arrest - $250,000.00; Coercive Questioning - $500,000.00; Length of Confinement - $1,000,000.00; Malicious Prosecution - $2,000,000.00; and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress - $4,000,000.00.

I have some questions, WHY? If I can find a more thorough story, I'll be sure to post it!


Anonymous said...

Why? Why what? Why did the jury award those amounts? She was tortured by police after rescuing an officer. She woke up everyday for over ten months in a nightmare, a place where she could wind up earning 6-30 years for an act of kindness. Imagine the horror of waking up that way, in jail, for ten months, knowing you're innocent, wondering why the police were making up stories about you, wondering if by some miracle you would prevail. Why? Every moment this woman spent in emotional distress for almost a complete year. She gained weight, lost friends, became depressed... because a cop she rescued lied and said she attacked her.

Levois said...

Hmmm. I probably should have spelled this out better. Why did the police zero in on her? That was the why.

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