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The Shiller Preyar Law Offices are dedicated to social justice issues on a local scale in the Chicagoland area as well as on a national scale. Our blog is a useful space to keep up with current legal news, firm updates and upcoming events.

Fighting Police Misconduct in Chicago

Fighting Police Misconduct in Chicago

The Shiller Preyar Law Offices is excited to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its trial win for Mr. Andy Montanez, plaintiff in the case of Montanez v. Fico.  Shiller Preyar Law Offices fought hard to vindicate the constitutional rights of Mr. Montanez, a young man and life-long Chicago resident who had been beaten up by Chicago Police officer Vincent Fico on March 20, 2009.  Mr. Montanez was thrilled, and said that "I had lots of lawyers in my time, but I never had lawyers that really cared.  Best lawyers I ever had.  Thank you." 

The trial win for Mr. Montanez is a cause for celebration for a second reason: it marked the beginning of Shiller Preyar Law Office’s three consecutive victories in the summer of 2012 for the citizens of Chicago against Chicago police officers.

The trial

Mr. Montanez’s trial began on Monday, June 11, 2012. The lawyers at Shiller Preyar showed the jury a large color photograph of Mr. Montanez’s gruesome injuries – cuts, bruises, and blood dripping from his face. Attorney Mary Grieb told the jury what the evidence would reveal: that Officer Fico punched Mr. Montanez in the face and violently dragged him out of the back of a police car, and threw him to the ground, even though Mr. Montanez was handcuffed and they were just steps from the police station.

The attorneys also presented two days of testimony from Mr. Montanez and the lone eye-witness to this brazen act of police brutality. When the two police officers testified, attorney April Preyar skillfully and zealously shredded their stories.

The verdict

After four days of testimony and passionate arguments by Ms. Preyar and Ms. Grieb, the jury found that Andy Montanez had been the victim of excessive force and awarded him money damages for his physical injuries and pain and suffering. The jury also took the extra step of awarding punitive damages against Vincent Fico because they believed that Officer Fico’s conduct was abhorrent and needed to be punished. In doing so, that jury sent a message to police officers across the City of Chicago that they would be held accountable for their misconduct and brazen abuse of the citizens of this City.

Continuing the fight

The Shiller Preyar Law Offices has three more police misconduct trials set for the summer and fall of 2013 and will continue to fight for the rights of everyone abused by police officers.

Photo via Flickr by -Tripp-

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