General Question

ibstubro's avatar

How could Laquan McDonald's family receive a $5,000,000 settlement from the city of Chicago while his murderer, Officer Jason Van Dyke, was still on the city's payroll?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) December 5th, 2015

Five million looks like admitting to a lot of wrong-doing to me.

If not Officer Jason Van Dyke, then who?

If you need source material, just ask.

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16 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The same way that OJ SIMPSON can be found not guilty and guilty at the same time. Criminal vs. Civil guilt.

jaytkay's avatar

A settlement agreement will often explicitly say something to the effect of, “we do not admit any wrongdoing” so it can’t be used as an admission of guilt in another civil or criminal case.

And yes, the fact that they gave up the $5M so easily meant the city attorneys knew the case was bad. There wasn’t even a lawsuit, meaning the city conceded when contacted by the McDonald family’s attorneys.

And as @RedDeerGuy1 wrote, the settlement is a civil matter, which has no bearing on the criminal case.

filmfann's avatar

Firing him would be an admission of wrongdoing.
I saw this kind of shit with my ex-boss. He should have been fired and sent to jail, but the company was worried about law suits.

jaytkay's avatar

Firing him would be an admission of wrongdoing.

Firing a cop is very difficult. They have probably the most powerful union in the US.

We have a former police commander who was convicted of torturing suspects. The city paid out $100 MILLION in legal fees and settlements thanks to him.

The union successfully fought to maintain the guy’s pension. He gets $4K per month from the taxpayers.

Here2_4's avatar

It is the difference between wrongdoing, in this case, causing loss of life, and intent.
One can acknowledge a death occurred, and somehow a person, or department, or group was responsible, but that can be the case without a murder having taken place.

jca's avatar

Civil service laws plus the union = he’s hard to terminate. It’s a process and that process takes time – months maybe more than a year. He is probably on unpaid leave right now.

ibstubro's avatar

But, 6 months after the $5,000,000 payout, the city was still paying Officer Van Dyke’s salary.
If he’s already cost the city $5,000,000 shouldn’t he have at least been on unpaid leave?

What the hell is the federal government still investigating?

jerv's avatar

“What the hell is the federal government still investigating?”

The federal government is too busy trying to either repeal Obamacare or fight such efforts.

ibstubro's avatar

I suspect this will end with the federal government investigating why the federal government investigated this so long that both Emmanuel and Hillary finished their second term without a conclusion.

Cruiser's avatar

Rahm the Mayor maintains he had no prior knowledge of the video and the Atty General is stating that she needed to make sure she had all the facts straight before bring charges against the cop. What is astounding to me is that so many people believe this song and dance and allowing them a free pass here especially in light of the 5 million ‘settlement’ already paid by the city to the family. Rahm Emmanuel is known as “Tiny Dancer” here in Chicago for obvious reasons.

ibstubro's avatar

If you will, @Cruiser, please source “Rahm the Mayor maintains he had no prior knowledge of the video.”
I’m not doubting you, but I’m not familiar with that assertion.
The city council signed off on the $5 million.
Can that happen without the mayor’s knowledge?

jaytkay's avatar

There’s nothing in that link suggesting Emmanuel claimed no prior knowledge. And the existence of the video has been public knowledge for a year.

The link does say the that in April the city’s attorney, who reports to the Mayor, “told reporters that the dashcam recording had been a major factor in the city’s decision to settle.”

The guy who first mentioned the video (in December 2014) wrote about the video and the autopsy in Slate in February 2014.

The video was not a secret. but it seems people who first heard the story in the past few weeks think that everyone else was equally oblivious.

Cruiser's avatar

@jaytkay Sorry I found what I meant to refer to and it was Rahm claim that he did not watch the video supposedly because ”If I watched it, reporters like you would say ‘if you get to see, how come the public doesn’t get to see it?

Seems pretty far fetched that he would approve a 5 million dollar settlement for a police shooting he never bothered to watch the video of.

jaytkay's avatar

It’s not far fetched at all. The fixation on whether the mayor watched the video is nonsense and a distraction from reality.

If your attorneys say, “This video is really bad, we cannot win a lawsuit, the best we can do is settle” then you settle. Personally watching that video is not some essential requirement to understand.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, @Cruiser.
That’s what I was looking for.

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