DUI Suspect Awarded $325,000 After Beating by Chicago Police

Julio Martinez may be awarded $325,000 after sustaining a beating by a Chicago Police officer while handcuffed to a metal bar in a holding room after falsely charged with DUI. Martinez, a hemophiliac, was treated for a possible skull fracture in March 2006 after being beaten by Officer John Haleas. Haleas was formerly known as a “top DUI cop” for making a high volume of DUI arrests in Chicago, but eventually lost his badge after accusations of falsifying DUI arrests arose in 2008. He pled guilty last year to attempted obstruction of justice and received a five-day suspension, which was eventually reduced to a one-day suspension. He is now assigned to the Records Division earning nearly $81,000 a year. Alderman Willie Cochran has called the position “unacceptable.”

In 2005/06, Haleas made 718 arrests, but 156 of those arrests were dismissed after he was himself arrested. Two Cook County prosecutors witnessed the officer’s alleged failure to give a DUI suspect a field sobriety test or read a DUI suspect the warnings of refusing or taking a breathalyzer test. Nine lawsuits were reportedly filed against Haleas and the City of Chicago, with more than 25 people alleging wrongdoing by Haleas.

On Monday, the City Council’s Finance Committee recommended the $325,000 settlement. The recommendation will go to the full council on Wednesday for approval.

City to pay $325,000 to hemophiliac beaten by cop, falsely charged with DUI, www.suntimes.com, May 6, 2013
City to pay $325,000 to settle case against former top DUI cop, www.chicagotribune.com, May 6, 2013

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