Emanuel C. Welch and Trial Team Win Not Guilty Verdict on Excessive Force Case against Officer Grady
CHICAGO—On May 31, 2012, a Federal Jury at the Dirksen Federal Building located at 219 S. Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois returned a not guilty verdict in favor of defendant, Chicago Police Officer Erick Grady and against the plaintiff, Dianne Coleman.
Coleman had filed a three count complaint at law against the City of Chicago, Sergeant George Owens and Officer Erick Grady alleging that police officers falsely arrested her, committed state law battery against her and used excessive force against her when she was handcuffed on September 26, 2008.
The City of Chicago responded by hiring Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP, and the case was assigned to partner Emanuel C. Welch. Welch was assisted on the case by associates Yifan Xu Sanchez and ShawnTe Raines.
Sergeant George Owens was voluntarily dismissed out of the case after his deposition. The City of Chicago was dismissed out after the defense filed a motion for summary judgment. The false arrest claim was dismissed via the same motion for summary judgment, and the state law battery claim was dismissed by the plaintiff shortly before trial started. That left the Section 1983 excessive force claim to be decided by a jury.
After three days of trial, May 29-31, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff. The plaintiff had asked the jury for $45,000. Welch argued during closing argument that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and pointed to pictures of the plaintiff taken on the day of the incident that Welch says did not depict any injuries to the plaintiff. The jury agreed.
“This was a great result for our client and our firm,” Welch said after the verdict. “The jury system worked again, and Officer Grady was completely vindicated.”
Welch, who was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in 2011, has also represented numerous police officers in Section 1983 cases on behalf of the Town of Cicero. He also represents school districts and other municipalities in defense of federal lawsuits.
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