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Nurse Awarded $7M After Being Jailed for Saving Cop

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chicago and police officers lose case and $7.7 million for false arrest
Woman pulled cop from wrecked car in 2002, but police said she stole service weapon



A trained nurse, Rachelle Jackson immediately ran toward the sound of the crash. A Chicago police car had collided with another vehicle and was starting to smoke, two officers still inside. Fearing an explosion, she quickly pulled one officer from the passenger side.She never imagined her act of kindness nearly six years ago would land her in jail for more than 10 months on charges that she robbed, battered and disarmed a peace officer.

Jackson filed a lawsuit, and on Thursday a federal jury found against the city and several Chicago police officers, awarding Jackson $7.7 million for false arrest, malicious prosecution, coercive questioning and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"I'm going to go home and lie down for a little bit," an ecstatic Jackson, 41, said after the verdict. "I feel relieved. I'm happy, and I'm thanking God."

The case began in November 2002, when a car ran a stop sign in Jackson's neighborhood, slamming into the squad car. Jackson was walking nearby and rushed to the scene. When she arrived, the officer behind the wheel was unconscious and the passenger, Officer Kelly Brogan, was dazed.



She pulled Brogan from the wreckage and helped her to a nearby stoop. Soon after, police approached Jackson and told her that the driver's weapon had been stolen. When she was asked to go to the police station for questioning, she thought it was as a witness to the accident.

Instead, Jackson was accused of the theft. She was held for two days with little food and water and was threatened with violence until she agreed to sign a statement police had prepared for her. She was then charged and spent more than 10 months in the Cook County Jail awaiting trial.

Her case was later thrown out by a Circuit Court judge. Jackson sued the city, Brogan and the two interrogation officers in 2003.

Defense attorney Andrew Hale said the amount the jury awarded Jackson was "excessive" and that he would file post-trial motions to have the amount reduced.

He also questioned Jackson's intentions when she pulled the officer from the car.

"The officer said [Jackson] came at her, tried to get her gun and put her in a full-Nelson hold," Hale said. "I'm disappointed the jury could think that would be a legitimate rescue technique."

But Jackson's attorneys said it was clear she was trying to help the officer, not harm her.

"This was an innocent woman who saved a police officer from a burning car," said Chris Smith, who tried the case with Dan Alexander. "There were many heroes out there who helped the police, but they all turned into suspects because some guy ran away with the gun."
 

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Note to self "while in chicago if witness cop burning in car..... Hmmm what to do, what to do.....
 

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It makes one wonder what parts of the story we're not hearing about. There's obviously more to it.
 

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CHICAGO, June 13 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

"Officer Brogan's attempt to jail a woman who rescued her and the detectives that encouraged Brogan to do so reflects the integrity of the Chicago Police Department," said Daniel Alexander, lead attorney representing Rachelle. "Peoples' rights can be, are, and will be protected in Chicago," said Christopher R. Smith, speaking after the verdict.

Interview with Rachelle Jackson after the verdict at 3 p.m., Friday, June 13, 2008 at 119 N. Peoria Street, Suite 3A, Chicago, IL 60607
 

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What is this world coming to....Obama coming into office...weapon bans....ect...scary stuff....thats why i am stocking up now!!!!
 

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I hope FN gets the scar out before it hits the fan
 

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coldair said:
I hope FN gets the scar out before it hits the fan
+100000
 
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