A Chicago woman has been awarded $22,000 in damages after a jury agreed that police acted negligently when they entered her home four years ago in a warrantless search. Debra Cargo, a South Loop resident, suffered a broken toe in 2010, when, in April, police wanted to speak with her 13-year-old son. In a quick turn of events, the woman broke her toe and at trial, lawyers for the police admitted the woman had been hurt yet denied excessive force was used.
The officers were looking for someone they saw rummaging around in a car earlier in the day. She called her son to the door, but did not invite the officers into her home. One of the officers allegedly grabbed her son as soon as he appeared, but the boy slipped out of the officer’s grasp and disappeared into the home. Cargo said she had agreed to get her son and bring him back to the officers when the officers simply barged in—forcing the door open and breaking her toe in the process. In court documents, lawyers for the city admitted the officers did not have a search warrant, thus making the entrance unlawful, as Cargo had not invited them in. At the trial, however, the officers claimed that Cargo had become confrontational, trying to close of their arms in the door. Cargo’s son was never charged with a crime in regards to what the police were said to have been investigating. The two officers are now retired, but have been ordered to pay a collective $16,000 to Cargo, while the city will pay another $6,000 in damages.
The damages are to be paid personally as a means of “punishing“ a defendant for his conduct and serving as an example or warning to defendants and others not to engage in similar conduct in the future.
Police Brutality and Your Rights
If you have been mistreated by law officers and have sustained injuries as a result, you’re not alone, and you may be able to file for compensation with a personal injury attorney. Be sure to collect as much information as you can surrounding your experience, including a detailed account of what happened leading up to the injury and what costs you have incurred as a result of it. Keep all records of medical billing as well as accounts of any work you had to miss in for doctor visits and other related appointments as well. When you need help dealing with a personal injury case tied to police brutality, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact Malman Law today for quality legal representation.