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Thread: Woman awarded $ 7,000,000 for false arrest

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    We here on the board often hear how it is impossible to successfully sue the police for false arrest. Here is another case were that is again proven to be false. Story on www.foxnews.com of a nursethat was arrested and jailed for stealing a cops firearm after helping him after an accident.

    I hope our friends in Pa collect a multiple of this award.

    Never be hesitant to litigate with over false arrest.

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    CHICAGO— A nurse who helped a Chicago police officer from a wrecked squad car and was later accused of stealing a weapon has been awarded $7.7 million by a federal jury for false arrest.[/b]

    In November 2002, a car ran a stop sign in Rachelle Jackson's neighborhood, slamming into a squad car. According to her attorney, Jackson, who was walking nearby, found the officer behind the wheel unconscious and the passenger, Officer Kelly Brogan, dazed.

    She pulled Brogan from the wreckage. Soon after, police approached Jackson and told her that the driver's weapon had been stolen.

    Jackson was accused of the theft. She was charged and spent more than 10 months in the Cook County Jail awaiting trial. Her case was later thrown out by a judge and Jackson sued the city of Chicago.

    Defense attorney Andrew Hale said the amount the jury awarded Jackson was "excessive."
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,4630555.story

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    She was awarded over7 million dollars because she spent 10 months injail after what a jury determined was a false arrest followed by a coercive interrogation. It isextremely unlikely she would have been awarded 7 million dollars solely for a false arrest. The 7 million dollars was a jury award for not only the false arrest and the 10 month imprisonment before her case went to trial, but also because the prosecutors should have dropped the case (as the judge quicklydid) as they hadalmost noevidence except an injured, dazed officers vague recollection of someone trying to grab her gun. Everyone involved dropped the ball here, repeatedly, over a multi-month period - which is how you end up with a 7.7 million dollar jury award.

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    So what DID happen to the officer's missing gun?

    The nurse was accused of taking the officers gun and later arrested.

    She was charged in the theft and spent 10 months in jail awaiting her trial.

    It appears it went to criminal court, she wasfound guilty, and then circuit court on appeal where a judge threw it out for some reason.

    One of the officers stated that the nurse tried to getHER gun AND putthe officerin a full nelson!!! So you have an officer advising on some strange activities now.I fail to see how this was actually thrown out of court and would enjoy reading the reason why.

    The fact is that one officers gun is missing and the other officer was attacked by the nurse who tried to get the officers gun. So based on that I do not see how she actually won.

    But this is Chicago and their reputation is less than stellar.

    The amount is rather excessive in my opinion but if that is what the people want to give her....so be it.They can pay more in taxes to recover it over the next few years.

    Because we all know.... in the end it is the people who are paying this bill.

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    That is the bad thing in most cases the taxpayers foot the bill. In the case of the police beating of Rodney King, officers did have to actually pay some personally.One had his home seized and several did jail time. I would like to see MUCH more of that in extreme cases where it wasn't just a judgment call but a willful abuse of the constitution.

    Sounds like the judge in the above case didn't believe the other officer. I find it hard to believe a nurse would attempt to take an officers gun, while rendering assistance at an accident scene. Something is a bit strange about this case.

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    jack wrote:
    That is the bad thing in most cases the taxpayers foot the bill. In the case of the police beating of Rodney King, officers did have to actually pay some personally.One had his home seized and several did jail time. I would like to see MUCH more of that in extreme cases where it wasn't just a judgment call but a willful abuse of the constitution.

    Sounds like the judge in the above case didn't believe the other officer. I find it hard to believe a nurse would attempt to take an officers gun, while rendering assistance at an accident scene. Something is a bit strange about this case.
    True....

    This is just so bizarre to read. A gun is missing... an officer says the nurse tried to take hers.... I do not know. Too strange!!

    The fact remains that the officer's gun was taken... so by whom? Otherwise it was lost before the crash and they faked the whole thing.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    True....

    This is just so bizarre to read. A gun is missing... an officer says the nurse tried to take hers.... I do not know. Too strange!!

    The fact remains that the officer's gun was taken... so by whom? Otherwise it was lost before the crash and they faked the whole thing.
    Or, perhaps it was lost DURING the crash... An awful lot of force involved in a 2 vehicle collision...

    Of course, I have no clue what this thread has to do with VA or OC, don't we have a general discussion forum for a reason
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Moved to general.

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    Good point, it could of went airborne on impact. Once I was in a serious accident and my daytimer was recover across the street. Someone could have spotted it and ...

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    I doubt a gun that is holstered and snapped down inside a car is going to go far.

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    maybe the nurse was REALLY anti gun and took the officers sidearm and threw it away...because you know...guns are evil and stuff.

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    Prophet wrote:
    maybe the nurse was REALLY anti gun and took the officers sidearm and threw it away...because you know...guns are evil and stuff.
    I can tell that rescue moves them away all the time when they walk up to check and see if a murder or suicide victim is really dead. :shock:

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    In any case..... a gun is missing immediately after a vehicle collision. I can only presume it has never been located.

    Why she would have wanted it.... and why the officers would have lied is beyond my comprehension.

    But the jury heard all the details that I have not. They awarded her a ton of cash.

    To answer your question... $36,000 a month seems sufficient to me. That comes out to $50.00 an hour for every hour she was there. If her job paid more than that maybe she should be entitled to more.She was in a county jail andnot a state prison where things are much worse. In that case.... I would give her$70,000 a month!

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    So, false arrest, coercive questioning, confinement, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress, not to mentionthe police lying to get a conviction is only worth how much you make an hour????
    So, if you are homeless then you should get nothing under the same circumstances????

    I think you do not realize the award is not so much to compensate the victim, yes, VICTIM!!!!!!, but to punish the offenders so they do not do it again.

    Also you should think about what she faced as being a convicted fellon if she was not found innocent on appeal. Her nursing career would have been history.

    The thin blue line continues.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    mobeewan wrote:
    So, false arrest, coercive questioning, confinement, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress, not to mentionthe police lying to get a conviction is only worth how much you make an hour????
    So, if you are homeless then you should get nothing under the same circumstances????

    I think you do not realize the award is not so much to compensate the victim, yes, VICTIM!!!!!!, but to punish the offenders so they do not do it again.

    Also you should think about what she faced as being a convicted fellon if she was not found innocent on appeal. Her nursing career would have been history.

    The thin blue line continues.
    Exactly, PUNITIVE damages are important and the Chicago PD deserves whatever award is arrived at by the jury. Their reputation for stomping on the rights of citizens and physically abusing people is well documented.

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    I'm all for allowing the Victim to be paid a large sum of money,

    but paying her 7,800,000 Dollars !?!?!?!?

    You just made her a millionaire x 7.



    It just doesn't seem right. I could see a couple million, maybe a few,

    BUT ALMOST 8 MILLION !?!? :?

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    Sheriff wrote:
    Dustin, her attorney probably gets 30% to 40% right off the top. Then she has to pay taxes on whatever is leftover. So it's not like she really got $7.9 million. After all is said and done, she most likely will get somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.5 million.


    Ah, Your right. Then that sounds reasonable to me.

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    IIRCtaxes are not collectedon awards from law suits and I have no problem with over $7 million. It is part of the punishment to get their attention and the attention of other departments to keep their guys on a leash. Now, $200 million would be excessivein this particular case, but maybe not in another case. It all depends on the particular case and details.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    I don't know anything more about this case than anyone else, but I have a few theories based on reading the info above:

    1. The alleged"full nelson" could have been how Jackson dragged the stunned officer from the burning car (arms under victim's armpits).
    2. The "stolen"badge may have come loose during the drag. It could then have been picked up by anybody.
    3. Ditto (but unlikely) for the missing gun.
    4. It sounds like the jury believed Brogan lost track of her gun somewhere/somehow (maybe even before the crash?), and was trying to cover her butt by falsely claiming that Jacksonmust have takenit. Understandably, her colleagues in the PD and prosecutors believed Brogan's story, but then they crossed the line trying to force a confession.
    5. A malicious prosecution finding implies that the jury believed that, at some point, the other police and/or prosecutors became aware that Brogan was lying but continued to squeeze Jackson, hoping to cover for Brogan's loss of hergun and subsequent lies.
    Jackson is fortunate that there were several witnesses to corroborate her story. Otherwise, it would have been the cops' word against hers.

    I'm sure some of her award will also go to paying the legal expenses she surely incurred during her 10-month imprisonment.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

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    Eeyore wrote:
    they crossed the line trying to force a confession.
    Wait a sec...isn't that SOP for every investigation? (Well, maybe not every one, but about 85%)

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    Sheriff wrote:
    Yeah, but also an 8th Amendment violation... cruel and unusual punishment.

    Suspects are often stuck in interrogation rooms with no food,water, or restrooms for days.

    quote: "Once there, officers subjected Rachelle to over fifty hours of coercive and abusive interrogation, without access to a bathroom."
    I was captured in Iraq during desert storm and they interrogated me for three days! They would not provide me with any food, would not let me sleep, and I could not remove my clothing to use the bathroom. They tortured me and forced me to sign a confession that I was murdering the people of Iraq. I was lucky to eventually be saved by a small Marine squad.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    I was captured in Iraq during desert storm and they interrogated me for three days! They would not provide me with any food, would not let me sleep, and I could not remove my clothing to use the bathroom. They tortured me and forced me to sign a confession that I was murdering the people of Iraq. I was lucky to eventually be saved by a small Marine squad.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...196201#p196201

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    jack wrote:
    That is the bad thing in most cases the taxpayers foot the bill. In the case of the police beating of Rodney King, officers did have to actually pay some personally.One had his home seized and several did jail time. I would like to see MUCH more of that in extreme cases where it wasn't just a judgment call but a willful abuse of the constitution.

    Sounds like the judge in the above case didn't believe the other officer. I find it hard to believe a nurse would attempt to take an officers gun, while rendering assistance at an accident scene. Something is a bit strange about this case.
    True....

    This is just so bizarre to read. A gun is missing... an officer says the nurse tried to take hers.... I do not know. Too strange!!

    The fact remains that the officer's gun was taken... so by whom? Otherwise it was lost before the crash and they faked the whole thing.
    I think that the jury probably decided the cops made up the story about the nursebeing involved in takingthe gun after the fact to justify arresting the wrong person, and then subjecting her to a long interrogation that led to what may have been a false confession.

    There are quite a few comments on secondcitycop about the incident. A number of them claim the women in question was a nursing student at the time who later flunked out. I would not be surprised to find out that 10 month in jail might cause you to flunk your classes.

    As LEOXXX said, CPD has a very poor reputation, some of it well deserved and that almost certainly played a part in the verdict amount. I think there is a very serious frustration a lot of the population feels towards the CPD that they just do not get. The size of the award may reflect that frustration.


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    LEO 229 wrote:
    jack wrote:
    That is the bad thing in most cases the taxpayers foot the bill. In the case of the police beating of Rodney King, officers did have to actually pay some personally.One had his home seized and several did jail time. I would like to see MUCH more of that in extreme cases where it wasn't just a judgment call but a willful abuse of the constitution.

    Sounds like the judge in the above case didn't believe the other officer. I find it hard to believe a nurse would attempt to take an officers gun, while rendering assistance at an accident scene. Something is a bit strange about this case.
    True....

    This is just so bizarre to read. A gun is missing... an officer says the nurse tried to take hers.... I do not know. Too strange!!

    The fact remains that the officer's gun was taken... so by whom? Otherwise it was lost before the crash and they faked the whole thing.
    I have to say I find it hard to believe a nurse rendering assistance after an accident would steal an officer's gun. Somebody is lying here, but I tend to believe the jury since they had access to evidence that we don't and found in her favor. It really sucks that the taxpayers have to foot the bill though.

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    Wow, I guess people in Chicago might think twice before aiding a police officer after this mess.

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