The city of Chicago is planning to pay out $200,000 to settle two lawsuits accusing former police Cmdr. Glenn Evans of excessive force in separate incidents.
The payouts lift the city tab for settlements and judgments in lawsuits against Evans to at least $621,250, not including tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and at least two lawsuits still pending.
Evans, now a lieutenant in the department’s medical-records section, stood trial on felony charges stemming from a 2013 incident at the center of one of the latest settlements. He was accused of putting his gun down the throat of suspect Rickey Williams, whom he allegedly threatened to kill. Evans was acquitted of those charges in a 2015 bench trial.
A lab test showed that Williams’ DNA was left on Evans’ gun. A city agency known then as the Independent Police Review Authority recommended in 2014 that Evans be stripped of police powers.
But Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy left Evans in charge of hundreds of officers as a district commander.
After WBEZ reported about the case, both McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised Evans’ work to help reduce crime. The commander also had support from some residents and business owners in a South Side district he had commanded.
Weeks after WBEZ began reporting on the case, prosecutors brought the charges — two counts of aggravated battery and seven counts of official misconduct. More than a year later, a judge found Evans not guilty and pointed to inconsistencies in Williams’ account of the incident.
Evans later sued the city and several officials in federal court over the investigation of the Williams allegation. That suit was dismissed. Evans brought similar claims in a Cook County lawsuit that remains pending. (In my role as a reporter, I was also named in both suits, as was WBEZ. We were dismissed from the cases.)
One of the most recent settlements involving Evans was brought by a woman who was under arrest in 2011 in a police station where he was on duty as a lieutenant. The woman, Rita King, was allegedly not cooperating with fingerprinting.
She claimed Evans pressed her nose and threatened to push it “through her brain.” Two days later, a hospital physician found facial bone fractures, according to court records.
City attorneys argued that Evans used reasonable force. They brought in an expert who said the injuries could have taken place before her encounter with Evans.
The King case led IPRA to recommend in 2016 that Evans be fired. The agency backed down when it found out a five-year statute of limitations had passed.
Under the settlements, both Williams and King will get $100,000, the most the city’s Law Department can arrange without City Council approval.
Martin Gould, an attorney for Williams, criticized CPD brass for promoting Evans through the ranks.
“It sends a message to officers that you can engage in misconduct,” Gould said.
Evans’ attorneys in the Williams and King suits and the city’s police and law departments did not return messages seeking comment.