The Watch

News and Information for Chicago FOP members.

City Settles Suit With Woman Once Charged With Attempted Murder of Police Officer

Another cop tossed under the Siskel bus . . .

The Fraternal Order of Police learned Wednesday that city attorneys settled a federal lawsuit with a woman who was once charged with the attempted murder of a police officer.

The settlement yet again cast suspicion on the relationship between the city’s police oversight agency created under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the unwillingness of city attorneys to back up Chicago Police officers.

In the latest such move, the city has reportedly settled with attorneys for Catherine Brown, once charged with attempted murder after she was accused of dragging Chicago Police Officer Mary Morsi Murphy under a car during a traffic stop in 2013.

Brown’s criminal case was eventually pled down to misdemeanor reckless conduct, even though Cook County Criminal Court Judge Stanley Sacks had ruled in 2013 that Catherine Brown had in fact dragged Officer Murphy under Brown’s car in an alley on the South Side.

The latest settlement marks another instance of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration settling bizarre and highly suspicious claims of misconduct against the police rather than going to trial. 

Last year, for example, the city settled for $31 million in the infamous Englewood Four wrongful conviction case. In that case, four men were released from prison for the rape and murder of a woman and sued the city. The FOP strongly condemned the decision, claiming that there was overwhelming evidence the men were guilty of the crime, despite their exoneration. 

Several weeks ago, the city settled for $2.5 million on the eve of another trial, alleging Chicago Police officers pointed a gun at a child during the execution of a warrant. 

Despite new evidence of a pattern of corruption in police misconduct lawsuits, Mayor Emanuel has settled scores of similar cases.

Now the city has settled a case of a police officer who was almost killed in the course of doing her job. 

Brown’s lawsuit sued Murphy and several other officers in federal court for false arrest and excessive force.

What adds to the suspicious decision by the city to settle the case is the fact that Murphy’s attorney won a crucial ruling when the federal judge stated that Officer Murphy did in fact have probable cause to stop and arrest Brown. 

Why, then, would the city settle? 

The case against Brown was aided by Chicago’s activist, fiercely anti-police media when CBS reporter Dave Savini got involved in the case. Savini took up Brown’s case, putting her side of the story in broadcasts while refusing to cite facts bolstering Murphy’s side. After his broadcast painting Murphy as a villain, the police oversight agency, IPRA, suddenly reopened an investigation of the incident.