A drunken driver, with a vehicle full of inebriated passengers, drove his car over an embankment and down a 25-foot drop near the Chicago River.

The dead end was marked with signage and blocked off with concrete barriers and a metal guardrail, which he somehow avoided and drove around. His passengers were injured, and he fled the scene on foot.

The city’s offer of payment of $3.7 million dollars was approved by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new team of aldermen.

Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (Wikipedia)


Some of the other notable monetary gifts from the city are:

Javier Sepulbeda was awarded $265,000 dollars after being shot in the back by Chicago Police Officers in 2014. Speulbeda was forced to wait to collect his lottery jackpot because he was sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges.

Isaiah Lloyd was awarded $260,000 dollars after Chicago Police arrested him for Aggravated Battery and he was acquitted and released from pre-trial custody 1 ½ years later.

A woman was awarded $250,000 dollars after she tripped and injured her knee on deteriorating concrete steps on a city street.

A group of activists was awarded $265,000 dollars after they sought and were turned downed to participate in the negations over the city’s police consent decree. This was deemed a violation of their First Amendment Rights. By the way, the Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing all Chicago Police Officers, was not allowed at the negation table either.

misguided citizen demands

City of Chicago. (Raymond Tambunan)


Deep pockets and elitist aldermen vying for votes are the root cause of the Chicago Lottery. Chicago’s city leaders have final approval of these awards and routinely hand them out like candy. They are the crusaders for the poor and those who face injustice. Awards are rarely fought and routinely dished out in massive amounts of tax moneys. This financial tumult is exacerbated by the notion that the city has deep pockets. After all, it’s free money. The city can draw from taxpayer’s wallets whenever the need arises.

What I found most interesting is that, as of a few years ago, 90 percent of the attorneys that sue the City of Chicago had previously worked for the City of Chicago.  That should be a telltale sign of something amiss, but not with the ‘old boy’ network in Chicago.

The Chicago Police are targeted an excessive number of lawsuits. The common allegation of the suits is the lack of training. Understanding that police officers are the ‘Jack of all Trades, and masters of none,’ there is much room for criticism.

In my career in Chicago, I have responded to the normal police calls: shootings, burglaries, robberies, deaths, car crashes, domestics, gang fights, thefts, drunks peeing on the sidewalk, crying cats and everything else imaginable. Some unusual things I have responded to were: drugs and school counselors, comforting a child after their parent had died, rebuilding a doorway after a burglar destroyed it, talking the suicidal kid from jumping to his death, encouraging a 6-year-old to attend school while fixing the furnace in the old woman’s apartment, fixing the dripping faucet as well as correcting the central air circulation in a newly purchased condo. Get the point? Police work is all encompassing.   

Gullible juries and unscrupulous lawyers will milk the system dry unless some courageous individual takes a stand. Fat chance in Chicago… the network simply won’t allow it.

Most recently, an 84-year old grandmother was killed by when a Chicago PD vehicle smashed into another police officer and then into the woman’s car. The officers were responding to a call of a man with a gun call. It was rebroadcast as the top priority when the on-scene officer called for assistance. The car crash occurred at an intersection involving a CPD squad car and a CPD van full of police officers. A total of ten police officers were injured and tragically, one squad car careened off the other striking the older woman’s vehicle, killing her.

A crash between two police vehicles and a civilian car claimed the life of 84-year-old Verona Gunn. (CCTV – Joey’s Liquors)


This incident was a horrible accident that cost the life of a well-respected and admired woman, but it was not intention, nor was it trivial. These are life and death scenarios that play out in Chicago on a daily basis. This family deserves our empathy and sympathy. But does throwing money at this situation make it any easier to accept? Lawyers are going to receive a huge windfall and the family will not have to worry about future bills. But is that the right course of action? I don’t have answers, but I do have thoughts.

To the aldermen and city lawyers who mitigate settlements on behalf of the city: treat these payments as if it’s your own money. Be fair, and not partisan. Don’t use taxpayer’s money as your own piggy bank to gain favor from the voters or your political boss. Remember, for every dollar you allocate, there is a taxpayer taking that money from his mortgage, car payment, or food budget. Be responsible, not political.  

To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.

View Larry Casey’s website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com and review his book by the same name.