Family Sues Chicago, CPD, Officers After Fatal Crash Involving Police Vehicles - NBC Chicago

Family Sues Chicago, CPD, Officers After Fatal Crash Involving Police Vehicles

84-year-old Verona Gunn was killed in the crash on Saturday evening, which involved two CPD vehicles

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    Chicago Police Vehicles Crash at Intersection, Kills 1

    Video obtained by the Associated Press shows two Chicago police vehicles collide at a Chicago intersection before one of the cars crashed into 84-year-old Verona Gunn's car. Gunn died from the impact. (Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019)

    The family of a woman killed Saturday when two Chicago police vehicles crashed into her car are suing the city, the police department and the officers involved, calling the crash "absolutely, 100% an avoidable situation."

    Surveillance video from a nearby liquor store showed 84-year-old Verona Gunn’s blue Toyota waiting at an intersection in the 1200 block of North Laramie when two Chicago police vans approached at a high rate of speed.

    The two police vehicles -- a marked van and an unmarked SUV -- crashed into each other and then into several other vehicles, including the car with Gunn and several family members inside.

    "It is not enough to simply say you are sorry," said Dwight Gunn, Verona's son. "It is not enough to simply have condolences shared. There has to be purpose that comes out of this pain that we are experiencing."

    That's why the family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit, Dwight Gunn said.

    "At every level, on Memorial Day weekend, the City of Chicago and CPD failed," civil rights attorney Andrew Stroth said. "This case is clear. And the video speaks for itself."

    The Chicago Police Department has expressed its deepest condolences, saying it is conducting its own investigation and cooperating with an independent investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

    CPD policy requires responding officers to slow down as they approach intersections to ensure they can proceed safely.

    The Gunn family said it has no problem with Chicago Police policies. It's how those polices are implemented that they would like to see changed.

    "It was absolutely, 100% an avoidable situation," Gunn said. "I have said it. ... This should not be our reality today."

    "We want to work with Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department to make sure that policies and practices are in place to make sure this doesn’t happen to another family," Stroth said. 

    The officer who was driving the vehicle that caused the crash is currently on administrative leave.

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