Rachelle Jackson, a Chicago nurse, was probably expecting a thankful reception from the colleagues of Officer Kelly Brogan, a police officer that she dragged from a burning police cruiser. Instead, she was arrested and stayed in jail for 10 months on charges that she robbed, battered and disarmed a peace officer. She now has $7.7 million worth of apologies from a Chicago jury. Defense counsel is irate, insisting that the officer said that Jackson put her into a strangle hold and took her gun.
After the charges were thrown out, Jackson sued for for false arrest, malicious prosecution, coercive questioning and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Her ordeal began in November 2002, when she found Officer Kelly Brogan dazed in the cruiser. After pulling Brogan from the car, the police approached her and asked her about Brogan’s missing weapon. She went to the police station, thinking that they wanted a witness statement but was then arrested. She claimed to have been held for two days with little food and water coerced into signing a statement.
Defense counsel claimed that “The officer said [Jackson] came at her, tried to get her gun and put her in a full-Nelson hold.”
Whatever the merits of the allegations, they were made irrelevant by the abuses by the police in her interrogation and confinement. If the police still believe that Jackson stole the weapon, they only have themselves to blame for not handling the case in a more reasonable fashion.
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