Mis­trial de­clared in suit over 2011 po­lice shoot­ing

Chicago Sun-Times - - CITYBEAT - BY MITCHDUDEK Staff Re­porter Email: mdudek@sun­times.com Twit­ter: @ mitchdudek

Ajudge de­clared amis­trial Tues­day evening in the case of a man who sued the city— seek­ing $ 5mil­lion— be­cause he was shot as a teenager by a Chicago Po­lice of­fi­cer.

Eleven ju­rors voted to award an un­spec­i­fied amount of money to Derquann Wil­son, who was shot by Of­fi­cer Sa­jit Wal­ter in 2011, but a sin­gle hold­out ju­ror led to the mis­trial.

Wil­son’s at­tor­ney, Craig Sand­berg, said hewould seek a re­trial as soon as pos­si­ble.

Wil­son was 15 when he was rid­ing in the front pas­sen­ger seat of a Chevy Mal­ibu, and two marked po­lice cars — one in front and one in back — pulled the ve­hi­cle over in the North Lawn­dale neigh­bor­hood.

Wal­ter, mo­ments af­ter ap­proach­ing the car, fired five shots into the ve­hi­cle, strik­ing Wil­son in the front pas­sen­ger seat in his hand and up­per back. Wil­son nearly died and lost a fin­ger. The pas­sen­ger sit­ting be­hind Wil­son, Jer­maine Henry, also was hit.

Wal­ter fired in fear of his life as the car came at him as the driver tried to flee, his at­tor­ney, Ju­lian John­son, said dur­ing clos­ing ar­gu­ments Tues­day.

Wal­ter also fired at Henry be­cause he pointed a gun at him from the back seat, John­son said.

The car crashed a few blocks away. No gun was ever found. But a small nov­elty gun- shaped cig­a­rette lighter was found on Henry.

Sand­berg said that the fact that Henry hap­pened to be car­ry­ing a lighter shaped like a gun was “for­tune smil­ing on po­lice” be­cause it was the ba­sis for their “enor­mous cover- up.”

Sur­rounded by po­lice cars and flash­ing lights, why would any­one bran­dish a fake gun, Sand­berg asked ju­rors.

“That’s pre­pos­ter­ous,” Sand­berg said, sug­gest­ing that Wal­ter may have fired be­cause he was an­gry be­cause the driver of the car fled and didn’t fol­low his or­ders. John­son said the plain­tiff’s at­tor­ney was try­ing to dis­tract ju­rors from fo­cus­ing on key dis­crep­an­cies be­tween Wil­son’s de­po­si­tion tes­ti­mony and what he told ju­rors at trial.

While be­ing de­posed, Wil­son said the of­fi­cer who ap­proached the ve­hi­cle was white and said the traf­fic stop oc­curred down the block from where it ac­tu­ally took place. Wal­ter is of In­dian an­ces­try.

Sand­berg at­trib­uted Wil­son’s lack of rec­ol­lec­tion to be­ing in shock while cling­ing to life af­ter be­ing shot.

He also claimed that Wal­ter broke a po­lice reg­u­la­tion by shoot­ing at a flee­ing ve­hi­cle that didn’t pose a dan­ger to him and pointed to a bul­let that pierced a tail­light as ev­i­dence.

John­son said it’s un­for­tu­nate Wil­son was shot, but he chose to hang out with friends whomade bad de­ci­sions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.