DOLTON, Ill. — It’s been nearly six years since Aja Seats brother John Kyles died following a police pursuit that ended in a crash.
Dolton officers initiated the chase in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2016 after a vehicle went through a stop sign.
“The response of Dolton PD to that missed stop sign was to execute a high speed police pursuit speeds exceeding 80 mph passing through multiple stop signs,” said family attorney Locke Bowman. “Ultimately driving and forcing this car driven by this young man into a dead end alley where the driver lost control of the vehicle.”
The Kyles family filed a lawsuit against the Village of Dolton and after a week-long trial — a jury awarded them $33.5 million. They found that police failed to exercise due care and weigh the danger of the pursuit.
The lawsuit also showed the officers involved disobeyed a direct command to abandon the chase and failed to notify dispatchers for a reason of the pursuit.
Another man in the vehicle, Duane Dunlap, suffered a brain injury and will need ongoing care for the rest of his life, his mother said.
The family attorney said his firm also uncovered a disproportionate number of police chases in the village. They said there have been 50 in the last five years.
The Village of Dolton issued the following statement.
“The judgement against the Village of Dolton is the result of unfortunate events that took place under the previous administration. Worsening the impact of this tragedy, the Dolton Board of Trustees chose to walk out of a recent meeting instead of appropriately considering a previous settlement offer from the defendants’ counsel that would have saved the taxpayers of Dolton millions of dollars.”