They’re paying that astronomical amount because the Chicago Police Department arrested Christina Eilman at Midway Airport in 2006 as she had a bipolar meltdown, held her overnight before releasing her into a high-crime area of Chicago where she was gang raped then thrown out of a seventh floor window.
(AP) CHICAGO – The parents of a California woman who was raped and severely injured after Chicago police released her from custody in a troubled neighborhood despite her obvious mental illness said Thursday that a $22.5 million settlement with the city is a “bittersweet victory.”
The settlement that will pay for Christina Eilman’s extensive ongoing therapy is the largest in a police misconduct case in Chicago history.
…After the council’s action, Christina Eilman’s mother and stepfather, Kathleen and Richard Paine, released their first public statement in years about the case. They described how the events that culminated in their daughter falling or being thrown from a 7th-story window had devastated her life.
“No amount of money will bring back the daughter we knew, the lovely young woman who was full of life and accepting of all people,” the Paines wrote. “Her life was dramatically changed after she came to Chicago and found herself in the grasp of several insensitive and uncaring police officers and detention aides who humiliated her, directed cruel and insensitive comments toward her, ignored her desperate need for help and placed her in harm’s way.”
Eilman’s federal lawsuit against the city was scheduled to begin next week. Her family initially was seeking $100 million, but agreed to the lower figure during extensive negotiations with the city.
Chicago Alderman Edward Burke says the city could have lost $80 million or more had a jury learned of all that Eilman went through and the nine desperate calls her mother made to police in the 27 hours. She had begged officers not to release her daughter because her daughter was bipolar and having a breakdown, but to no avail.
…Despite doing things like babbling incoherently and smearing menstrual blood on the holding cell walls, and after her parents’ frantic calls, Eilman was released to fend for herself in a high-crime area. She ended up in a nearby public housing building, where a man raped her at knifepoint before she fell from a seventh-story window.
Chicago Tribune detailed her ordeal in 2010 (and photo gallery), and the details are chilling. The police really did throw this disturbed woman to the wolves. Alderman Burke is right, a jury would have given the family more than the city settled for.