A girl suffered a permanent brain injury and is suing the Chicago Police Department for the physical and sexual assault she suffered after being left in a notoriously dangerous neighborhood. For more than 18 months, the court has been silent on the issue, but has now rejected the city’s attempt to stop the case.
The city asked the court to dismiss the case against 10 police officers who argued that the police had no duty to take care of the girl who had been arrested at the Midway Airport. After the arrest, the woman was dropped 7 miles away in one of Chicago’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods. The woman was lured into a high-rise where she was assaulted before falling from a seventh-floor window. She suffered massive trauma, including a severe brain injury, a shattered pelvis and numerous broken bones in the accident. The severity of her injury requires 24-hour care.
The federal appellate court rejected an appeal by the city, which had delayed the case for the past two years. The original lawsuit was filed nearly six years ago, months after the arrest and injury. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the family of the girl can proceed with their lawsuit claiming that the Police Department negligently placed the girl in danger that lead to her assault and the catastrophic injury that resulted in brain damage.
The judges found that there was a evidence of a constitutional violation when the officers took the girl from a relatively safe place to a more dangerous place, showing disregard for the girl’s safety and putting her in harm’s way. According to the court, the girl was lost, unable to appreciate the danger of her situation and dressed to attract more attention.