Less than a week before the scheduled beginning of what promised to be a turbulent and troubled trial, lawyers revealed in federal court this morning that the city of Chicago has entered into talks to settle a lawsuit involving a shooting by a Chicago police officer nearly three years ago.
The case involved 16-year-old Jaquise Evans, who was shot by police officer Richard Salvador, who insisted he saw Evans point a gun at him. Evans contended he never had a gun, and that a weapon found a considerable distance from where he fell was planted by police.
The charges against Evans were thrown out by a Cook County judge, and the youth sued Salvador for his injuries.
During the last week, Evans’ lawyers appeared repeatedly before federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, alleging last minute surprises, hidden evidence, and untendered dirt from the officer’s past.
Indeed, just last week, the attorneys said they had discovered another lawsuit in the officer’s past which had never been revealed by city lawyers---even though Salvador had testified under oath he had never been sued. The city’s defense, was that they didn’t know they represented Salvador in the suit, and that he didn’t know he had been sued.
Federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer was furious.
“You’re representing him and you don’t know that?” she asked. “Who, as a matter of professional ethics does this?”
Then, on Monday, Evans’ attorneys said the city informed them that the officer had actually responded to questions, known as interrogatories, as part of the prior lawsuit. And that happened nearly two months before the deposition where he claimed he had never been sued.
“We believe there are perjury issues here,” attorney Michael Oppenheimer told the judge Monday. “Mr. Salvador might need criminal counsel.”
An assistant corporation counsel said the office was in the process of reviewing the latest revelations. But Evans’ lawyers asked for a hearing to determine if Salvador committed perjury. It was during a Wednesday hearing to consider that request, that Oppenheimer revealed that the settlement talks had finally begun.