With just one week to go before a controversial police shooting lawsuit is scheduled for trial, more surprise evidence appeared Monday, in a case already marked by twists, turns and considerable anger.
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. The charges against Evans were thrown out by a Cook County judge, and the youth sued Salvador for his injuries.
Last week, Evans’ 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 before. 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?”
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 Oppenheimer wasn’t satisfied.
“It is now clear that the infamous ‘code of silence’ previously admitted to by Mayor Emanuel extends to (the Corporation Counsel’s office),” he wrote in a motion. “It defies belief that a sworn officer of the law ‘forgot’ that he was aware of a lawsuit he had personally acknowledged just months before.”
Evans’ lawyers have asked for a hearing to determine if Salvador committed perjury. But an obviously disgusted Pallmeyer strongly suggested to lawyers they should be exploring ways to settle the case.
“I think you ought to be talking to one another,” she said, “to determine whether there’s a resolution.”
A hearing on the matter was set for Wednesday.