CHICAGO — A Chicago woman and her two daughters, ages 4 and 9, suffered serious brain damage when police used a Taser on the kids in 2003 as they tried to keep them from escaping during a police raid on the home, an attorney for the family said Tuesday.
Michelle Manning, 34, and the children, now 5 and 8, were taken to an area hospital for medical treatment after the raid by police and firefighters who were knocking on the door, telling the family they were breaking up a burglary, the attorney, Jeffrey Berry, said. It was not until hours later that they learned the raids were related to a police investigation.
Manning remains in the hospital and unable to eat on her own, Berry said. She also had difficulty breathing and could no longer see out of one eye after getting hit by a Taser.
“She’s actually been totally blind,” he said.
The case against the officers involved was dismissed last year, but Berry said Chicago is expected to pay Manning and her children $2.9 million to settle their lawsuits against the city. It is expected to be announced later Tuesday.
Police would not comment on the settlement.
Berry said Manning, a mother of three, sought medical treatment early in the week on Oct. 16 and had initially believed her children were also injured.
But police arrested Manning’s husband and admitted that he was not involved in the burglaries, Berry said. Manning then called for an ambulance, Berry said.
According to court records, the raid was related to a suspected murder investigation.
Prosecutors would not seek charges against the officers involved because of lack of evidence, Berry said.
But he said one of the officers acknowledged ordering a high-voltage Taser gun during the raid and that six Tasers were used in the raid.
“The fact that they had a Taser gun certainly had to have contributed to the severe reaction,” Berry said.
He also said the officers responsible for putting Manning’s daughter into an ambulance should be charged, but Berry said prosecutors would not pursue those cases.
Manning has gone through surgeries, brain stem surgeries and spinal cord surgery and “her only prayer is that she can regain more function,” Berry said.