Densey Cole became a Chicago police officer at the age of 22 and, while on-duty, a quadriplegic at 38.
It was May 27, 2009 when Cole, a 16-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was responding to a burglary call. Along the way, a car crossed the median and hit his SUV near the corner of 98th and S. Halsted. His head slammed against the ceiling of his police car and he broke his neck.
Shortly after the accident, two men ran up to Cole's car and stole his wallet and his 9mm weapon. He was still conscious as the two men moved him to give them better access to his pockets. Their crime may have exacerbated Cole's injuries.
Left paralyzed, Cole is now fighting just to keep a roof over his head. He was recently served with eviction papers for the Oak Brook Terrace apartment he says the city was supposed to be paying for. His rent is behind almost $20,000.
“It is very expensive to live in a home that is handicapped accessible,” Cold told NBC Chicago.
Cole says the city had told him to sell his home in Beverly because it was too expensive to make it handicapped accessible. He says they had told him they were planning on building a new home that would be accessible for his needs, but that never happened.
“They owe me and they know they owe,” Cole expressed. “I cannot continue to move.”
The city of Chicago said in a statement that the finance committee has paid more than $5.8 million for Cole’s medical care since 2009, and insisted they have made sure his accommodations are handicapped accessible.
The bill in question, according to a city spokesperson, is for unpaid utility bills – which they allege are Cole’s responsibility.
Cole meanwhile says he did what's right as an officer on duty and just asks the city to do the same.
“I fulfilled 100 percent of what I was supposed to do as an officer,” Cole said. “And are they doing the same? No.”
Cole has since set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to help chip away the mounting debt that comes with living with disabilities.
He says he has been warned he will be evicted on July 8.