A Chicago woman is tased by police and suffers a miscarriage but is now expected to receive a $500,000 settlement.
A Chicago woman, Elaina Turner, and her boyfriend, Ulysses Green, crossed paths with a trouble-prone Chicago cop named Patrick Kelly in 2013. As a result of the incident Turner, who was six weeks pregnant at the time, was tased by police officer Kelly three times. A few days later Turner suffered a miscarriage. Now in 2017, according to the Chicago Tribune, a measure of justice has been served as the city of Chicago is expected to pay $500,000 to Turner to settle her police brutality case. The cop in the incident, Kelly, has a history as a problem prone officer. The Tribune reports the $500,000 brings the cost of settlements related to Kelly to $1.2 million and cost of legal fees related to defending Kelly to $2.4 million.
The incident began when Kelly responded to a call to assist other officers in towing cars from behind Turner and Green’s home. Turner’s boyfriend Green and Kelly exchanged words and an argument ensued. According to the couple’s report in the Tribune, Turner pretended to film the incident. In doing so she moved closer to her van but then dropped her phone. Turner says as she bent to pick up her phone she heard Kelly yell, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” Kelly then fired the taser the first time and hit her in the abdomen but only one prong made contact. Turner says it was enough to make her freeze. Kelly then fired a second time and hit her in the arm. Then Kelly allegedly walked over and pressed his taser to Turner’s skin and fired a third time which caused Turner to drop to the ground.
Kelly testified at Green and Turner’s criminal case where he told a different version of the story. The Tribune reports, “Kelly testified that he deployed his Taser because Turner tried to open the passenger door of the van against his orders and then fled. But the tow truck driver did not corroborate Kelly’s account, testifying that he never saw Turner touch the van door. He also said she was not running away from Kelly when she was stunned with the Taser, as police contend, but standing in the middle of the street facing Kelly when it happened.” The couple was ultimately acquitted by the judge.
The Tribune article documented Kelly’s career as marred by investigations and questionable incidents. According to their reporting, Kelly, a 36-year-old Chicago police patrol officer has had at least 27 investigations into his on- and off-duty conduct during his career. Additionally, Kelly has been found mentally unfit for service twice, arrested two times and accused of beating his girlfriend so bad she needed stitches. In one incident Kelly and his friend Mike LaPorta spent a night in 2010 staying up late and drinking. The night ended with LaPorta shot in the head by Kelly’s gun. The incident was initially ruled an attempted suicide but the Tribune reports the case has been reopened. Kelly has refused to comment on the incident. Allegations of abusive police and false arrests round out the picture of officer Kelly.
All of this begs the question, why is Kelly still a police officer? What is it about our police force that allows a clearly abusive and troublesome officer to stay on the force? The role of an officer is to serve and protect the community but it seems in our day and age that has been forgotten. There is more focus now on detaining and controlling. We live in a time where a battlefield has been drawn between police and civilians. Both sides suffer in such a culture. Civilians over-aggressively tased by police, police shooting civilians and civilians attacking police will only increase as long as we remain in a battlefield culture. The police must re-affirm their vow to protect and serve.