Date: December 15, 2012
Officer: Ruth Castelli (shooter) and Christopher Hackett
Charged: No, $1.25 mil settlement
Chicago Police received reports of an SUV full of men who had stolen televisions off the back of a truck earlier that day, December 15, 2012. Corresponding reports said the men were armed. The police later spotted an SUV that matched the description of the car, and a chase ensued. The SUV skidded and struck a pole outside of a gas station, then the passengers started running. Jamaal Moore was the last passenger to get out of the car when he was struck and run over by a police car. Officer Christopher Hackett said he was trying to stop the car, but it kept skidding because it was a rainy day. Moore crawled out from under the squad car and was tackled by Hackett. His partner, Officer Ruth Castelli drew her gun and held it in her right hand. Moore was able to flip Hackett off of his back, and once he started to run, Castelli shot him in the back and hip without providing a verbal warning prior to her shooting. The shots occurred at point-blank range with only her right hand, rather than the two-handed shooting stance generally used. Moore was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later. He was 23 years old.
Jamaal Moore’s sister, Jaceta Smith, arrived at the scene moments later, asking where her brother was. She said that an unidentified officer laughed and said, “just another n----- dead” and “get the fuck back.” She added that another officer, Officer Norris, said, “why don’t you n-----s go spend that welfare check,” “you n-----s get up out of the street, you n-----s,” and “you n-----s need to go find something better to do.” She said that she told the Commander about Officer Norris’ words and he responded by saying “just move back.” Moore’s mother, Gwendolyn Moore, also gave a similar account of when she arrived to the scene after Smith. She said that Officer Norris was in the presence of the Commander when he said, “you n-----s ain’t shit,” “all you guys want to do is be on welfare,” “you need to go and find some jobs,” and “why don’t y’all go and find yourself some jobs.” Moore said that when she approached the Commander about Norris’ language, he said, “ma’am, let’s just get on the sidewalk.”
Police reports say that Jamaal Moore was unarmed and they recovered a black flashlight at the scene. One officer said that he saw Moore “clutching” the flashlight, but the Moore Family Attorney said that he doesn’t believe the flashlight theory due to many reasons. Firstly, Moore would have no reason to carry a flashlight because the incident occurred at midday. Secondly, Moore was struck and run over by the squad car, making it nearly impossible to keep clutching onto the flashlight. Thirdly, the theory that Moore had a flashlight came out two days after the incident. Finally, forensic evidence indicated no evidence of Moore’s fingerprints on the flashlight. He believes that police planted the flashlight to have reasonable suspicion that Moore had a gun. Officer Hackett never testified as to whether or not Moore had an object in his hands.
The Independent Police Review Authority investigated the case and exonerated the officers, and they remain on active duty. City lawyers believe that they would not have won the case had it been presented to a jury rather than remaining as a civil suit. Gwendolyn Moore was awarded $1.25 million after suing the city and the two officers citing excessive use of force and wrongful death.
Cox, T., & Holliday, D. (2014, September 09). $1.25 Million Payout to Mom of Man Shot by Police Gets Council Committee OK. Retrieved from https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140908/downtown/125-million-payout-mom-of-man-shot-by-police-up-for-city-approval/
Gwendolyn Moore and Jaceta Smith v. City of Chicago and Chicago Police Officers Castelli, Hackett, Reif, Gorman, Muth, Norris, and Gonzalez, 1-8 (United States District Court May 30, 2014), 2014 United States Government Publishing Office 1:13-cv-00483.
Holliday, D. (2013, January 22). Mother of Man Killed by Police Wants to Change 'the Way the Police Operate'. Retrieved from https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130122/englewood/mother-of-man-killed-by-cops-wants-change-way-police-operate/slideshow/330830/#slide-3
Rogers, P. (2015, February 05). Newly Released Video Shows Chicago Police Shooting Unarmed Man. Retrieved from https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Jamaal-Moore-290842521.html