Clinic Settles Cop Brutality Case
City of Chicago officials are preparing to settle a police brutality case that has generated no stories in the mainstream media -- but which watchers in the blogosphere say threatened to expose widespread patterns of abuse in the Chicago Police Department.
Diane Bond said she was physically accosted and sexually humiliated on many occasions by a special team of officers assigned to her building in the Stateway Gardens housing complex.
The plight of Bond and her son was chronicled by blogger Jamie Kalven. City lawyers had a companion lawsuit going against Kalven to get a judge to force him to turn over all his notes of interviews with everyone in the housing project -- even on issues unrelated to Bond's case.
That potential First Amendment showdown was averted when the city and Bond's lawyers reached a tentative settlement of $150,000 last week. That figure must be approved by the Chicago City Council. The settlement will end the city's action against Kalven.
In the course of the lawsuit, Bond's lawyer, Craig Futterman, a public interest lawyer with the University of Chicago's Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, obtained extensive records of the Police Department's disciplining of officers in response to brutality complaints.
As Kalven reported on his blog, the numbers show that of the 10,150 complaints of excessive force, illegal arrest, illegal searches, racial and sexual abuse filed against Chicago offi