CHICAGO - A lawyer for a teen who was run over by a Chicago police SUV nearly two years ago has released video of the incident and is asking the city to settle with the girl’s family for $2.1 million.
Astarte Washington, 15 at the time, still has scars from the SUV’s wheels and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, attorney Robert Fakhouri said Thursday. He urged a settlement so the family can begin moving forward.
"She is a girl who was captain of the basketball team, student council president, vocal, active … She is very resilient," said attorney Robert Fakhouri. "She doesn’t want to be looked at as a victim … she wants to rise above this."
Astarte and her brother were walking from their grandmother’s home in the 9700 block of South Yale Avenue on the afternoon of May 31, 2020, when they ran into a large group of protesters and looters during the unrest following the killing of George Floyd, according to a lawsuit filed by the family.
Police ordered the group to stop and get to the ground near 111th Street and South Michigan Avenue. While others dispersed, Astarte followed the order, the suit states.
WARNING: THE VIDEO BELOW IS GRAPHIC. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Astarte was on the ground when an officer jumped out of a police SUV nearby and the car began rolling backward down the block, running over Astarte with both the rear and front tires, "causing traumatic and severe permanent injuries," the suit states.
"She testified (that) she saw that vehicle coming at her and she was more fearful of getting up and moving out of the way and getting shot that she allowed that vehicle to roll over her body," Fakhouri said.
The lawsuit accuses the officer behind the wheel of the SUV of exhibiting"a conscious disregard for the safety of others."
In a deposition taken recently, the officer said he remembered "moving the gear towards the park position." Fakhouri said the officer did not explicitly say he had placed the SUV in park before running down the street.
He added that the video footage, taken from nearby Seaway Bank, shows the SUV never came to a stop.
The city responded by saying it does not comment on pending lawsuits.