That folks, is a helluva win.
Dan Alexander and Chris Smith, civil rights attorneys here in Chicago, just got $7.7 million from a federal jury for a woman who dragged a police officer out of a smoking patrol car after an accident, and then ends up the suspect in a theft involving the other police officer’s service weapon.
This was the perfect false arrest case. The plaintiff, Rachelle Jackson, was essentially a Good Samaritan then forced to sign a confession by the police and admitted involvement in a crime she didn’t commit. She spent 10 months in jail, then had her case “thrown out,” although what that means is unclear, and then she sued. And won.
Now, the City of Chicago is certainly going to appeal, and while I have no idea if there are grounds for it, they’re most certainly going to file for remittitur (a reduction in the award). $7.7 million is a lotta “oops” money…but it seems like Ms. Jackson deserved every penny.
p.s. My employer was a partner with attorney Chris Smith at the Cook County Public Defender’s office.
p.p.s. I hope folks get the Outkast reference.