The Council’s Finance Committee will consider paying out $6.45 million to two families of men who allegedly died at the hands of Chicago Police.
This morning, the Law Department will ask aldermen to approve settling two police misconduct cases. One of those lawsuits, filed by the family of Philip Coleman, will cost the city $4.9 million. The lawsuit stems from a 2012 incident when six Chicago police officers were caught on video using a Taser on, and dragging Coleman out of his cell. Coleman suffered severe trauma and was admitted to Roseland Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead after a bad reaction to an antipsychotic drug.
The City released the video in December of 2015, around the time protesters took over city streets to voice their outrage of the mishandling of the the Laquan McDonald shooting. IPRA Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley re-opened the agency’s investigation into Coleman’s death, “to determine if the officers’ actions are within department guidelines and, if so, whether policy changes are needed to avoid another incident like this in the future.”
Aldermen will be asked to settle another police-related case, this one involving Justin Cook, who also died in police custody after an asthma attack. The city plans to pay the Cook family $1.5 million to keep the case out of court.
Other Items on the Finance Agenda
Financial Oversight – Ald. John Arena (45), a member of the council’s Progressive Caucus, wants the City Council to devise an ordinance that would create new review standards for the city’s major financial transactions. Ald. Arena, on behalf of the Caucus, introduced a resolution calling on his colleagues to do just that: “undertake to collaborate on creating a Financial Transparency and Accountability Ordinance that imposes rigorous review standards for extraordinary financial transactions.” It’s unclear if those details will be discussed in committee.
TIF $ For Schools – Two public elementary schools will receive a total of $1.04 million in tax increment financing dollars under an ordinance from the Department of Planning and Development. Hope College Preparatory in the city’s Englewood neighborhood (5515 S. Lowe St.) would receive $287,000 in TIF funds for the planning, design and construction of a new playground. And Roald Amundsen High School in the city’s Lincoln Square neighborhood would receive $760,000 in TIF funds for the construction of new game programing and web design labs. That will pay for only part of the project, the Board of Education will pick up the rest of the tab, paying $796,000. According to a press release from the mayor’s office, this is the latest of several TIF investments that have been made at the Lincoln Square high school. The school previously received a total of $3.1 million in TIF funding, including $2.6 million for a new gym.