CHICAGO — Three members of one family have been awarded nearly $5 million by a federal jury that concluded a Chicago police officer used excess force when he shot them while investigating gunfire.
The jury on Monday awarded Michael Williamson $2.1 million in damages, his younger brother, Princeton, $1.65 million and their sister, Kierra, $1 million.
The Chicago Tribune reports the wounding of the three occurred on New Year’s 2014, when police allege the brothers fired a gun in the air, which was heard and investigated by Officer Wilfredo Ortiz.
Ortiz told the Independent Police Review Authority that Michael Williamson took a “tactical stance” and raised the gun. Ortiz said he fired out of fear for his life. IPRA ruled the shooting was justified.
Both brothers were criminally charged, but a Cook County judge dismissed the testimony of a lead investigator of the case as “garbage.”
Both brothers were acquitted of aggravated assault and weapons charges.