Chicago to pay $15M to family of mom-of-six killed by speeding cop who ran red light

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The city of Chicago will pay a $15 million settlement to the family of a woman killed in June 2020 when an unmarked police car blew a red light and slammed into her SUV.

Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez, a 37-year-old mother of six, was on her way home after her first day at a new job when a police cruiser in the middle of a high-speed chase plowed into her SUV at 89 mph, reports said.

The Chicago City Council approved the hefty payoff Wednesday without discussion, settling a wrongful-death suit from Francisco-Martinez’s family as a debate ensued over the department’s policy about high-speed chases.

“There will be enormous sympathy for the family of (Francisco-Martinez), who endured such a tragic, tragic event,” Chicago Law Department counsel Mimi Ruether said before the Finance Committee unanimously authorized the settlement.

“The accident involved the Chicago police officer himself; it was not the offender that was involved in the accident, which is going to potentially affect the amount of a settlement and a verdict.”

Both the officer and the vehicle he was pursuing blew through a red light, the Chicago Tribune reported. The officer barreled into Francisco-Martinez while she had a green light and was moving between 20 and 27 mph, according to the publication.

Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez
Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez was killed after a police officer crashed into her in 2020.
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A scene of the crash.
The Chicago City Council approved the $15 million for Francisco-Martinez’s family Wednesday without discussion.
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Police stand at the scene of the crash.
The police cruiser plowed into Francisco-Martinez’s SUV at 89 mph.
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Francisco-Martinez died at the hospital during surgery.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported last year that 180 out of 270 police chases in 2019 ended in crashes and the death of eight people.

Two months after Francisco-Martinez’s death, the Chicago Police Department revised its policy that requires officers to “check for traffic” before driving through an intersection. 

A scene of the police officer chasing another car.
Both the officer and the vehicle he was pursuing blew through a red light.
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The officer in the crash is still employed with the Chicago Police Department, a spokesperson told the Tribune.

The driver of the car police were chasing is still sitting in Cook County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, car hijacking and more. He is being held on $1 million bail.

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