Cook County Jury Finds In Favor of Police Detective and City in Police Shooting Lawsuit

            On Thursday, September 4, 2008 a Cook County jury found in favor of Chicago Police Detective Luke Daly and the City of Chicago in a lawsuit stemming from a 2004 police shooting.

On October 27, 2004, plaintiff David Wilson was arrested on the north side of Chicago by the police and was brought to the Area 3 police station pursuant to an arrest warrant for two rapes.  Detective Daly was not one of the officers who arrested Wilson, but was the primary detective investigating the rape cases.  The arresting officers searched plaintiff upon arrest and placed him in an interview room on a bench handcuffed to a ring on the wall.   

 

The next day, Detective Daly went to Area 3 to receive a Department commendation and to have photographs taken with his family.  At this time, he was informed that Wilson was in custody, and he proceed to interview him about the rapes.  Wilson initially denied the rapes, but after being presented with evidence to the contrary, including DNA evidence, he requested something to eat and a cigarette.  Detective Daly went to the lock up, made Wilson a sandwich, went back to the interview room and gave Wilson the sandwich and a cigarette.  Detective Daly uncuffed Wilson from the ring on the wall so he could use his hands to eat and smoke, leaving one handcuff attached to Wilson’s wrist and the other loose.      

 

Detective Daly then left the interview room to get the rape victims and arrange for a lineup.  A short time later, Detective Daly heard Wilson yell out from the interview room requesting another cigarette.  When Detective Daly opened the door to the interview room to give him a cigarette, Wilson attacked him with the dangling handcuff and a screwdriver.  Wilson apparently found the screwdriver after moving one of the tiles in the false ceiling in the interview room.  There was evidence presented at the trial that maintenance and installation work had recently been done in the interview room.  After being attacked, Detective Daly then shot Wilson three times, paralyzing him from the waist down.  

 

Wilson subsequently sued Detective Daly and the City of Chicago on the basis that the shooting was wilful and wanton.  He alleged that he never threatened Detective Daly and that Daly performed street justice and attempted to execute him; or alternatively, he alleged that, even if he had attacked Detective Daly, it was because Daly failed to follow proper procedures, putting Wilson in a position where he was able to attack Daly. The City argued that Daly was justified in shooting since Wilson was trying to kill him.

 

At the close of the eighty-day trial, Wilson asked the jury to award $28.5 million in damages.  Jurors deliberated for five hours before finding in favor of Detective Daly and the City.  

 

Scott Jebson and David Selmer of the Corporation Counsel's Officer represented the defendant at trial. 

 

Steve Muslin and Craig Sanberg of Muslin & Sanberg represented the Plaintiff