Family of Unarmed Man Fatally Shot in Face by Cop Settles for $3 Million
April 19, 2011
The Daley administration has agreed to pay $3 million to the family of a 23-year-old unarmed man gunned down by Chicago Police in a 2003 shooting captured by a CTA surveillance camera.
If not for the video, widely viewed on YouTube, City Hall and police officer Alvin Weems might never have admitted that the shooting of Michael Pleasance at the CTA Red Line’s 95th Street station was not justified.
At the time, Weems was trying to break up a fight in which Pleasance was a mere bystander.
The Police Department initially maintained that the victim struggled with Weems for the officer’s gun. Only after the victim’s family sued and a judge ordered the CTA video released did the city and the officer change their stories.
The video shows Weems, dressed in plainclothes, arriving at the L platform with his gun drawn. The officer pulls a young man out of the fight as Pleasance stands off to the side pointing and apparently trying to talk to the officer. The video then shows Weems raising his gun and shooting Pleasance in the face.
The settlement, expected to be approved today by the City Council’s Finance Committee, pales by comparison to the $12.5 million that a jury awarded to the victim’s mother Pamela Pleasance in December 2007.