$ 3.1 MIL­LION

Cicero set­tles law­suit with fam­ily of man who was shot by cop with trou­bled past

Chicago Sun-Times - - CITY BEAT - BY JON SEIDEL Staff Re­porter Email: jsei­del@ suntimes. com Twit­ter: @ Sei­delCon­tent

The Town of Cicero has set­tled a 5- year- old law­suit over a fa­tal shoot­ing by a po­lice of­fi­cer with a trou­bled past for $ 3.1 mil­lion.

Lawyers for the fam­ily of Ce­sar Mu­nive have al­leged the town never should have hired Of­fi­cer Don­ald Gar­rity, who they say shot Mu­nive while he was un­armed in July 2012. They say Gar­rity lied about be­ing forced to re­sign from a pre­vi­ous po­lice job in Ber­wyn, and they say he helped plant a gun to jus­tify Mu­nive’s death.

But nei­ther side is ad­mit­ting any li­a­bil­ity in the settlement, ac­cord­ing to a copy of the agree­ment filed in fed­eral court Wed­nes­day. The town in­sists Mu­nive “was a bad guy,” and Gar­rity’s lawyer says an­other of­fi­cer is alive to­day thanks to Gar­rity.

The settlement still needs the bless­ing of U. S. District Judge Jorge L. Alonso, who is sched­uled to hear from the lawyers next week. The settlement agree­ment also re­quires the town to pay $ 400,000 in at­tor­neys’ fees. A trial set for last July was can­celed when the judge was told about the pend­ing deal, records show.

“Ce­sar Mu­nive was a known mem­ber of the Latin Counts Street Gang op­er­at­ing in Cicero,” Town spokesman Ray Hana­nia wrote in a state­ment. “He was a con­victed felon on pa­role and was known to carry a weapon. Mu­nive was a bad guy, de­struc­tive to the com­mu­nity who had threat­ened to kill peo­ple many times. Mu­nive was a reg­is­tered sex of­fender.”

Hana­nia and Gar­rity lawyer Craig Tobin said the town’s in­sur­ance com­pany pushed for the settlement, even though both said they wanted to take the case to trial. Tobin said the Illi­nois State Po­lice and the Cook County State’s At­tor­ney’s of­fice found Mu­nive’s fa­tal shoot­ing to be jus­ti­fied.

Gar­rity has left the Cicero Po­lice Depart­ment and is on dis­abil­ity, Tobin said.

Mean­while, the Bet­ter Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion re­ported in July the gun found at the scene turned out to be a firearm that once be­longed to the late fa­ther of Cook County Judge Wil­liam Ste­wart Boyd. The judge turned it over to the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment eight years be­fore Mu­nive’s death as part of a buy­back pro­gram meant to get weapons off the street, ac­cord­ing to the BGA.

Gar­rity worked as a cop in Ber­wyn in Jan­uary 2008, when records show he was clocked go­ing nearly 90 mph in a 30 mph zone af­ter clos­ing down a late- night bar in North River­side. Po­lice stopped him on the Cer­mak Av­enue bridge and drew their guns be­fore he even­tu­ally got out of his car and iden­ti­fied him­self as a cop. Later, he de­manded the North River­side po­lice chief ’s phone num­ber.

Af­ter join­ing the force in Cicero, Gar­rity and two other of­fi­cers an­swered a call on July 5, 2012, about a fight near 14th Street and 56th Court, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit. They spot­ted Mu­nive on their way and be­gan to chase him in their car. Gar­rity even­tu­ally got out of the car and ran af­ter Mu­nive. Then, near 13th Street and 57th Av­enue, Gar­rity shot Mu­nive in the back, lawyers for the Mu­nive fam­ily al­leged.

In do­ing so, Tobin said Gar­rity saved the life of an­other po­lice of­fi­cer, Do­minic Schullo.

“[ Gar­rity] be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer that day was a god­send to the Schullo fam­ily,” Tobin said. “That’s the only rea­son Do­minic Schullo’s alive to­day.”

Lawyers for the fam­ily of Ce­sar Mu­nive ( left) say Mu­nive was un­armed when he was fa­tally shot by for­mer Cicero Po­lice Of­fi­cer Don­ald Gar­rity ( right), but Gar­rity’s lawyer says an­other of­fi­cer is alive to­day thanks to Gar­rity’s ac­tion.


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