Government / Policing

Maywood Approves $35K Police Misconduct Settlement

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A screenshot of the complaint filed by Derion Young against three Maywood police officers last year. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 9/23/16

At a Sept. 20 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees approved a $35,000 settlement agreement related to a federal complaint alleging police misconduct.

Last year, Derion Young filed a federal complaint against Maywood Police Officers Michael Babicz, George Rangel, Patrick Reilly in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.

Young claimed that on July 10, 2014, he was confronted by Maywood police officers for filming an officer with his camera phone.

According to the complaint, Young was eventually arrested unlawfully, beaten and “tased multiple times” despite Young having not violated any “laws, rules or ordinances” and there being “no probable cause or legal justification” for his arrest.

The lawsuit Young subsequently filed contains one count of excessive force, one count of false arrest, one count of first amendment violations, one count of failure to intervene, one state law claim of battery, one state law claim of battery/false imprisonment and one state law claim of malicious prosecution against all three officers.

It also includes a state law claim of indemnification, which makes the Village of Maywood liable for the officers’ alleged actions. The village has denied liability for Young’s claims.

Young’s complaint notes that, as a “direct and proximate result of the [officers’ actions, the plaintiff] was injured, suffered emotional anxiety, mental trauma, humiliation, fear, stress, pain and suffering, and other damages.”

Young had initially demanded $65,000 to settle the case, according to a Sept. 14 village memo.

In July, the village was ready to settle up to $40,000. After negotiations between the village and Young’s attorneys, the settlement amount was reduced to $35,000.

This is the second police misconduct settlement the village board has approved in the last three months.

In July, the village board approved a $7,500 settlement with Derrick Neal Lewis, who filed a civil rights complaint in 2014. Lewis claimed that he was beaten by Maywood police officers during an arrest in 2013. Officer Babicz is named in that case as well, along with Maywood Police Officer Kyle Rice.

Maywood Trustee Michael Rogers said that the village board has sought ways to prevent police-related complaints, which the trustee said “get very, very expensive.”

“We’re not the only ones with this problem,” Rogers said in a recent interview. “Look at Chicago and other places. Whether you win or not, you’ve got to spend a lot of money.”

Rogers said prevention mostly has to do with training and documentation.

“You can’t just fire somebody on the spot, you have to write them up three and four times,” Rogers said. “You have to have a record of documentation. And it has to be more than just verbal warnings.

“You have to sit you department heads and managers down and have them understand that documentation has to be produced. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It will save us millions potentially.” VFP

The 2015 federal complaint filed by Derion Young against three Maywood police officers:

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One thought on “Maywood Approves $35K Police Misconduct Settlement

  1. Settlements do not necessarily indicate any misconduct actually occurred. Defending any lawsuit may be expensive : win or lose and right or wrong . Some settlements are simply injury related for employees or others. Training and awareness can help reduce incidents through prevention. Write-ups and discipline measures are necessary for those who may not follow the training and standards of responsible care. Everyone can contribute in some way to reducing waste, error and inefficiencies. It’s much better to invest in prevention, training, wellness and identifying better procedures than the expense of settlements or defending lawsuits.

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