Michael Elam Jr. death: Chicago committee votes in favor of $5M settlement in police shooting

A Chicago City Council committee has voted in favor of a $5 million settlement in a 2019 police shooting.

Michael Elam Jr., 17, was shot and killed while running away from a traffic stop and car crash. His mother — Alice Martin — filed a lawsuit against the city and the officer involved.

The settlement now moves to the full City Council for a final vote.

In the lawsuit, Martin claimed her teenage son was needlessly shot and killed. Her lawsuit also claimed that officers failed to call for an ambulance during the critical minutes after the boy was shot.

"There was no warning, no halts, no stop, don't run, you know, the officer just fired," said Martin.


Police say Elam Jr. was a passenger in a car on South Keeler when police tried to pull the driver over for a traffic violation. The driver refused and crashed into a fence.

"He was running away, and the shots to the back and the back of the head confirm that he was running away from the officer at the time he was shot," said plaintiff's attorney Jeffrey Neslund.

Neslund, who also represented the family of Laquan McDonald, says police waited more than five minutes to call for an ambulance, and the officer who shot Elam violated rules by not activating his bodycam before the incident.

Elam attended West Town Academy.

"We're just looking for answers. We want justice for my son who I just feel was wrongfully fatally killed," Martin said.

Police said in February that two guns were recovered at the scene, but attorneys for Elam's family say the teenager was not armed.

"What we know as a matter of fact, of certainty, is that after he was shot, he was searched, he was unarmed," Neslund said.