CHICAGO (AP) — A woman who filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging she was yanked from her car by Chicago police at a shopping mall amid unrest following the 2020 killing of George Floyd moved a step closer Thursday to settling her case with the city for nearly $1.7 million.
The City Council’s Finance Committee voted to approve the $1.67 million settlement with Mia Wright on Thursday, sending the matter to the full City Council for a vote next week. The council routinely follows the recommendations of the committee, but the Finance Committee’s 13-7 vote was unusually close, which could possibly signal a close vote by the Council.
Wright was a passenger in a car when police smashed the windows with their batons and pulled her from the vehicle, the federal lawsuit said. The incident came amid accounts across the nation of protests, civil unrest and vandalism in the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Wright contended that she was trying to comply with the officers’ orders for the occupants to get out of the car when an officer grabbed her out of the car and put her onto the pavement where he kneeled on her back and neck. She alleged that the confrontation left her blind in one eye from flying glass caused by police breaking the car windows.
Police, who were at the Brickyard Mall after several businesses there had been vandalized during looting, initially said the people in the car were there to “disturb the peace” and arrested Wright on a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. That charge was later dropped.
Wright said she and the others had driven to the mall to go shopping and did not realize that it was closed due to the unrest.
Two officers involved in the incident were stripped of their police powers while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability conducted its investigation. That investigation has been completed and COPA has made recommendations on whether the officers should be disciplined.
COPA has not commented on its recommendations and said it would not until the city’s Law Department makes a final decision, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.