A settlement totaling $2.9 million will be paid to the family of a woman who was naked when Chicago police forced their way into the wrong home, took a room hostage and fired shots over the course of several hours in 2010.
A lawsuit filed by Cassandra Brown’s family, two women and her 4-year-old daughter claimed that the police used excessive force when they entered the wrong house. The woman who was kidnapped and taken to a basement in a wig and stockings remains unaccounted for. Police have said that she is a key witness in the case.
According to her complaint, Brown and her girlfriend, Angela Williams, were shot at by police after they refused to identify themselves. Another woman, Celia Martinez, was shot when she ran toward the police and pulled a handgun. Brown’s 4-year-old daughter was also shot during the melee when she was in a bed near her grandmother’s bed, a police video showed.
The 21-year-old, who has become a subject of media attention, said she was tortured by police. And she has spoken out about the events that transpired at the home, claiming police acted “emotionally” and unnecessarily fired their weapons at her daughter.
The lawsuit was filed in January 2011. She is the former girlfriend of alleged kidnapper Alfonso Hamilton, who is also a subject of the lawsuit and the subject of a missing persons investigation.
Brown does not want any restitution. She is seeking jail time for the officers, specifically those who fired their weapons.
The settlement with the City of Chicago requires the consent of the Chicago Board of Ethics and the Cook County circuit court. The settlement was filed in federal court Friday afternoon. It includes the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department, and 12 officers, according to Brown’s complaint.
Brown’s family and her attorneys met with Mayor Rahm Emanuel in October 2015 to discuss the case. Emanuel vowed to “take care of” the family and it was reported that the mayor had pledged $50,000 from his own discretionary account.
The settlement comes a day after Chicago imposed a $4.5 million “goodwill” deal for a former volunteer firefighter and paramedic who was disciplined for behaving erratically at the scene of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke.
Van Dyke was convicted of first-degree murder earlier this month.
Brown’s lawsuit is separate from the investigation into the police shooting of McDonald, which is being handled by a former federal prosecutor, Lori Lightfoot.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has said that it will review the verdicts that have been released to date in the Brown lawsuit.