CHICAGO, IL – Chicago’s legal bills to external law firms is already amassing a huge sum.
According to ABC 7, in a five-year period, the city had a bill that was approximately $200 million in outside legal fees.
Of those, 75% were spent on cases for the police department. These accounted for the most costly of all.
The city of Chicago spends nearly $40 million a year on outside legal council for lawsuits, most of which are against the Chicago Police Department. https://t.co/vmuqYi8EK7
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) May 3, 2022
Greg Kulis, an attorney for one of the individuals suing the city, said,
“It’s kind of comical that the city of Chicago has three law firms representing the two officers in the city of Chicago alleging that their actions were justified yet, when we get called by the superintendent’s lawyers who are saying well, we want to help us get these officers indicted.
So, the city of Chicago is spending money on both sides of the tracks.
And Ariel is sitting here just trying to move on with his life.”
Kulis is defending Ariel Roman, who is suing the city because he was shot two years ago. He was unarmed at the time the Chicago police officer shot him.
Roman sued the officers and the city since he says he still experiences both physical and emotional suffering from the incident.
“I’m afraid to go outside…it has impacted my life.
I was shot twice, one directly into the stomach.
And the second one when I was fleeing on the escalator.”
BREAKING NEWS: Chicago Police Officer Melvina Bogard has been charged with two felonies in the 2020 shooting of Ariel Roman, an unarmed man, at a CTA Red Line station. https://t.co/UCxj5Yz6AP
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) August 5, 2021
Allegedly in February 2020, Roman was walking in between train cars. The officers saw this and attempted to arrest Roman. Footage from the incident showed Roman resisting arrest, which led to Roman being tased and then shot.
Melvina Bogard and Bernard Butler, the Chicago police officers involved in the shooting, have a case pending with the police board. Officer Bogard has pleaded not guilty.
Until now, the city has paid almost $250,000 to two external law firms on this case. Roman remarked:
“If they’re willing to spend all this money for all this trouble and yeah, they can’t give me not one dime.“
The police subpoenaed Roman to the police board for CPD’s case recommending Bogard and Butler be fired. He said:
“Now they’re requesting from me to help them to indict or at least fire them.”
Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges against the man who was shot by Chicago police during a struggle at a CTA Red Line station. The man, Ariel Roman, remained hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Sunday. https://t.co/lv04J8Of6V
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) March 1, 2020
Roman is frustrated after watching other cases around the country find a resolution. He noted:
“It is very traumatizing. Nobody deserves to go through this, ever.”
The City of Chicago’s Law Department said in response that “litigation strategies are confidential.”
CHICAGO, IL – A police dispatcher for the Chicago Police Department has apparently had enough with the violence he has heard first hand in his city and is speaking out about it.
The dispatcher took to social media to speak out against city leaders and referred to the area as a ‘death zone.’
👉🏾One of the most candid & powerful commentaries I’ve heard in a long time. CPD Dispatcher Keith Thornton doesn’t hold back. He calls out the Mayor directly. She’s destroying the 16th District (and Chicago) on purpose! @CPD1617Scanner @DanProft @shaun_show https://t.co/6izGeT8amy
— Red Wine Patriette🇺🇸 (@RPatriette) December 24, 2021
Keith Thornton, a Chicago Police Dispatcher, reached notoriety for his handling the night that Chicago Police Officer Ella French was killed and another injured.
Now he is making news once again, but this time for calling out the leadership in Chicago, specifically alleging that Chicago Police Superintendent Dave Brown lied to a community meeting when he told those in attendance the 16th district had plenty of officers to provide safety.
Thornton took to his personal Facebook Page and decided to blast city leaders in a video that lasted almost thirty minutes over police staffing issues and the city mentality when it comes to criminal justice.
Thornton spoke specifically of the 16th District and noted that on December 23rd, nine of the 14 police units that were assigned to that area were down, which left that area with only five police officers. He said:
“It’s [staffing] outrageous and I’m not happy. The ones that are white are the ones that have beat cars. The ones that are scratched out, they’re down. So you have no police coming.”
Keith Thornton Jr. is a face familiar to Chicago for his composed response to a shooting which claimed the life of Off. Ella French and injured Off. Carlos Yanez Jr.
His address to Chicago has made the rounds, but what he has to say is important. Listen.https://t.co/Os8Bl6Beol
— Chicago Contrarian (@ChicagoContrar1) December 27, 2021
Thornton panned to the parking lot of the district to show the number of police cars that were just parked in the parking lot as an example of the lack of officers working.
He then spoke about the lack of safety police officers are feeling due to the staffing shortages and noted that he receives several text messages about it.
“When I’m getting text messages from officers telling me that they’re afraid for their safety because they’re working by themselves and then the beat next to them, to back them up, isn’t there because the cars are down, that’s a problem. That’s a safety concern.”
Thornton went further to warn citizens and visitors alike of being in the Windy City. He said:
“If you are a Chicagoan, living here or doing business here, even just visiting as a tourist here, your safety is compromised and in jeopardy.”
One of the people who took notice of Thornton’s Facebook video was City Alderman Nick Sposato who intends on meeting with the superintendent over manpower concerns. Sposato said:
“We have to fight for crumbs. Since we are in a city that believes in socialism, give us our fair share and even things out. Start helping us on the Northwest Side and give us more bodies.”
Sposato alleges that the 16th area is significantly understaffed compared to when he first took office in 2011 and then needs more to keep the area safe. He said:
“We need at least 50 bodies. We are losing them at a rapid rate. I feel we get punished in the 16th District for being a safe community.”
— 👨🏽💻 (@IKidMickey) December 26, 2021
City Alderman Anthony Napolitano also weighed in on Thornton’s comments and said that he agreed with them, but noted that they are the same words he and others have said for several years. He said:
“My residents deserve to feel safe, and they don’t anymore. I agree with the stuff the dispatcher said. But it’s all stuff we’ve been saying for seven years.”
Thornton spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times regarding his recent Facebook video and the comments he is receiving because of it. He said:
“I think it’s fantastic. It’s getting them [city leaders] to do their jobs.”
The three-time convicted gun offender was charged Wednesday with shooting Pullum in the back of his head at point-blank range. The murder occurred around 7 a.m. on June 28, 2020.
Hayer has been charged with first-degree murder, armed habitual criminal, criminal trespass to a residence, and possessing a controlled substance.
Hayer was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm twice in 2017. He was also convicted in 2015 and 2013 of unlawful use of a weapon and in 2012 convicted of carrying or possessing a gun, all of which are felonies, prosecutors said.
He was also previously convicted of three misdemeanor charges of street gang contact.
Hayer’s public defender said he holds down two jobs, including one in which he works for an attorney who is “doing restorative justice.”
The defense lawyer said that Hayer is engaged and has one child with another on the way.
Judge Charles Beach denied bail on the murder charge during a court hearing on Wednesday, according to Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman Sophia Ansari. Bail was set at $400,00 for the other charges.
The shooting was captured on surveillance video, which spread quickly on social media in the early days of a spree of gun violence that raged through Chicago during the summer of 2020.
In the video, which is time-stamped 6:56 a.m., the two men can be seen crossing the street together and walking between parked cars before stopping in front of a closed black iron gate in front of an apartment building.
They stood talking to each other for about 30 seconds. There was no apparent indication of tension or conflict between the two as they spoke. Pullum, dressed in a black t-shirt and wearing a red baseball cap worn backwards, seemed calm during the discussion.
The other man, who authorities believe was Hayer, dressed in royal blue sweatpants and a hood pulled up in the video, was rocking back and forth on his feet as they talked.
After the 30-second conversation, Pullum turned his head away from the suspect, who then took one step back while pulling out a silver semiautomatic pistol and fired once into the back of Pullum’s head.
As Pullum fell to the ground against the gate, the suspect ran from the scene.
Pullum was pronounced dead a short time later at Amita Health St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.
Police asked the public for help identifying the suspect and released several other videos in the neighborhood believed to have captured the suspect wearing his hood covering his face.
Investigators said phone records and witnesses proved vital to the investigation into the murder. Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said Pullum and Hayer exchanged 12 phone calls in the hours before the shooting.
Witnesses told authorities they observed a black Jeep pull up to Pullum and a group of others standing with him before the shooting. They identified Hayer as the person who exited the Jeep and walked over to Pullum.
As other members of the group left, Hayer and Pullum walked together down the street before the murder. After the shooting, witnesses said Hayer was picked up by the same Jeep, which then left the scene.
In addition to cellphone records showing calls between the victim and suspect, cell tower data placed Hayer’s phone in the area at the time of the shooting.
Chicago police officers told investigators they believe they saw a handgun sticking out of Hayer’s pocket as they monitored surveillance cameras at a Chicago Housing Authority project in the 500 block of West Iowa, according to Murphy.
When police arrived to arrest Hayer, he fled carrying a bookbag. He knocked on several apartment doors until a resident opened the door expecting her sister, according to reports. When she opened the door, Hayer ran inside and upstairs. He began shouting at police that he did not have a gun.
The woman who answered the door later said she did not know the suspect.
Police eventually took Hayer into custody. They found a plastic bag near Hayer containing 79 smaller baggies of suspected cocaine, according to Murphy.
Under a bed mattress in the room, police found a black Nike bookbag containing his birth certificate, personal items, and a loaded pistol.
Adding to the mounting evidence against the suspect, one of Pullum’s family members found Hayer’s property, including credit cards and a wallet, on Pullum’s body, according to prosecutors.
Hayer, of the 6800 block of South Crandon Avenue, is scheduled for another court appearance on January 18.
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