City settles with family of paralyzed man
February 12, 2007 (WLS) -- Three years after Cornelius Ware was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer during a traffic stop, his family accepted a multi-million dollar settlement from the city.
On Friday, a federal jury found a Chicago police officer liable of wrongfully shooting Ware. The penalty phase was poised to begin, but the City of Chicago avoided further litigation with a $5.25 million settlement out of court.
"After three years I am so happy that we finally got justice. It was my purpose to get justice for my son. Thank you," said Tammy Grant, Cornelius Ware's mother.
During the trial, three witnesses testified that Chicago Police Officer Anthony Blake shot Ware in the back during a traffic stop in August of 2003. Ware was in front of his family home in the 8400-block of South Loomis. The Ware family attorney said police surrounded the vehicle and shouted at Ware to step out of the car. Ware, who was paralyzed, could not get out of his vehicle.
He was shot six times and died 18 days later.
A police roundtable held after the shooting decided the officers acted properly.
"The jury rejected the testimony of four police officers who testified that Neil pointed a gun at them. The jury concluded that the shooting was not justified and that the gun had been put in the car after the fact. The gun had no fingerprints or blood on it," said Jon Loevy, Ware's attorney.
Ware was paralyzed when he was a child. He was the victim of a shooting.
'' He was trying to get his life back by going for therapy treatments and his life was cut short," said Loevy.
Calls to the city law department have not been returned on this holiday.
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