A federal jury has awarded $3.7 million to two brothers and a sister who said they were beaten and falsely charged by rogue Chicago police officers who were assigned to a corrupt Special Operations Section in 2004.
The city said it would appeal the verdict, handed down Thursday.
The case stemmed from the arrest of Seneca Adams, 20, in front of his home on Sept. 14, 2004. His brother, Tari Adams, 18, and his twin sister, Sicara Adams, went to check on him and found that he was being held by members of the department’s Special Operations Section in a secluded area behind the Cook County Jail, according to their lawsuit.
When the brother and sister attempted to ask the officers about their brother, Tari Adams was punched by an officer and she and her younger brother left the jail, the lawsuit stated.
As they sat at a stop light blocks from their home, a squad car rammed into their car, they contended. They were able to make it home, but officers quickly arrested both of them, according to the lawsuit. Both Seneca Adams and Tari Adams said they were beaten by the officers and produced photographs taken later that night and the next day showing bruises and cuts on their faces.
While beating Seneca Adams, officers repeatedly called him a “monkey” and a “n—–.”
Senaca and Tari Adams accused the officers of filing false charges against them. Seneca Adams spent 204 days in Cook County Jail before raising enough money to be bonded out. Tari Adams was jailed for 46 days.
The two said they spent more than two and a half years fighting the charges.
“They are happy, relieved,’’ lead attorney Christopher R. Smith said of the brothers and sister. “This is a great moment for them but it’s not over by any stretch. Their lives were flipped on end.’’
Seneca and Tari now reside in Arizona. Their sister Sicara still lives in Chicago with her two children. She was four months pregnant with one of them when the officer hit her car, Smith said. She and the child did not suffer any physical injuries, Smith added.
“Emotionally the young woman’s damages were there but she was not beaten in that same helpless format,’’ Smith said.
The three will split the money.
“These young people were amazing in how they dealt with this situation and how they were victorious. This is a mountain to climb,’’ Smith said. “They felt so dehumanized by the whole process.”
Source: Chicago Tribune