CHICAGO — The family of a woman who was hit by a police squad car is suing the Chicago Police Department and the officer who was behind the wheel.
Martina Standley, 34, was hit by a CPD SUV on Nov. 13 near 71st Street and Jeffrey Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood. Police said as officers were leaving the area, Standley’s right leg became stuck under the passenger side tire of the vehicle. However, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday morning, her attorneys said it was an intentional, reckless act by the officers.
Standley remains in the hospital in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury and crushed right leg.
Her attorney, Andrew Stroth, said the officers ran her over, pinned her underneath the car and said she had blood streaming from her head.
“…one witness even described the noise of Martina’s skull slamming into the ground as being as loud as a gun shot,” Stroth said.
No information was given by Standley’s family, attorneys or police about what led up to the encounter in the first place. However, her family said she was well known and well like in the community and even has a number of close family members who are longtime Chicago police officers.
“They know her, the beat cops know her, it makes no sense, they were talking to her and then use a car to address where transpired makes no sense,” Standley’s cousin, Joslyn Ewing, said.
“This was a citizen who was not threatening, was not suspected of any criminal activity or crime who was seeking out the police to engage them,” Steven Hart, the family’s attorney, said.
The attorneys said the evidence they’ve been able to gather so far, including cellphone video of the incident, shows Standley was not armed. They even included screen grabs from the video in their lawsuit.
“What took place is about an eight to 10 second engagement with the police, they did not roll down their windows as far as we can tell, they did not exit their vehicle to engage a pedestrian that was next to their vehicle,” Hart said. “The brake lights were on the vehicle at some point the brake lights came off, the vehicle swerved towards Martina , her right foot was pinned under the wheel we believe and she violently struck the rear of her head on the pavement.”
Standley had been reported missing at one point last month, but it was cancelled just days later. The incident with police happened a few weeks later. It is not clear if the two are connected.
In addition to monetary damages, the family is also asking for an investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney and they’re asking anyone who witnesses the incident to come forward.
The police officers involved remain on active duty. A police spokesman said the department has not received any request to put them on administrative leave by COPA or internal affairs.