Chicago taxpayers will spend $150,000 to compensate a handcuffed, kneeling woman hit in the head, taunted and threatened by a Chicago Police officer during a tanning salon raid captured on videotape.
On Monday, the City Council’s Finance Committee authorized the settlement to Jianquing “Jessica” Klyzek to settle claims the 32-year-old salon manager made in an explosive federal lawsuit filed last spring.
Klyzek’s claims were supported by a video captured by a security camera at the Copper Tan and Spa in Noble Square.
“This is the case where there was a sting operation. There was video evidence where the officers were effectuating an arrest. The manager of the spa was resisting arrest. They handcuffed her, put her on the ground. Then, an officer, while she was handcuffed, proceeded to strike her,” said First Deputy Corporation Counsel Leslie Darling.
“And there were some other comments by the police that, we believe, could inflame a jury.”
Pressed to explain what specifically could “inflame” a jury, Darling said, “Could I ask you to watch the video?”
Klyzek’s attorney Torreya Hamilton could not be reached for comment on the settlement, expected to be approved by the full Council on Wednesday.
The video appears to show one Chicago Police officer smack Klyzek in the head with an open hand as she is on her knees, handcuffed. Another large officer yells at the 110-pound, 5-foot-2 Klyzek — a naturalized U.S. citizen who emigrated from China — “You’re not f—— American!”
The officer then ranted at a screaming and hysterical Klyzek that “I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from,” before warning her the spa’s owner “will f—— kill you . . . You’ll be dead, and your family will be dead.”
The video clearly shows Klyzek as an uncooperative and unhinged arrestee. It is not as clear-cut as the notorious footage of off-duty cop Anthony Abbate beating a barmaid in 2007. But, it still invited unwanted comparisons.
“I cannot imagine Supt. Garry McCarthy can face the citizens of this city and defend these officers’ actions,” Hamilton said when the lawsuit was filed.
“This city was built by immigrants, and in 2014 we’re treating them like this?”
Klyzek was initially accused of an aggravated battery of the officers, as well as ordinance violations, but she was quickly cleared by Cook County Judge Paul Pavlus, who found no probable cause for her arrest.
Police then tried again. They pursued charges, and Klyzek was indicted for aggravated battery, alleging she scratched and punched officers on July 31, 2013, during the raid of the business in the 1000 block of North Milwaukee. That charge was also thrown out after prosecutors saw the video, the lawsuit states.
The raid was prompted when an undercover officer was allegedly offered a sex act by a masseuse in a back room, according to a police report.
The video shows plainclothes police march in through the front door, followed by uniformed officers, and attempt to apprehend an apparently confused Klyzek in the salon’s lobby.
During a prolonged struggle, an hysterical Klyzek yelled “f— you” and “I want my lawyer,” while one officer cried, “She bit me,” and another shouted, “Guys, she scratched me!”
At one point an officer said, “Can I just Tase her? F— it. I can Tase her 10 f—— times.”
Temporarily subdued and kneeling, cuffed with her hands behind her back, she was screaming but appeared to be offering no physical resistance when an officer identified in the lawsuit as Frank Messina then smacked her in side of the head from behind.
Moments later another audibly angry officer — alleged in the lawsuit to be Gerald Di Pasquale — ranted that Klyzek is not a citizen and will be sent back to “wherever the f— you came from” in “a UPS box” or killed by the salon’s owners.
A fellow officer is then heard to say, “Hey Gerry, stop talking to her!”
Officers appeared to have spotted a security camera but were unable to seize the video because it was recorded off-site, according to the complaint.
Also on Monday, the Finance Committee authorized a $280,000 settlement to resolve discrimination claims made by four African-American aviation security officers among an unarmed force of 270 assigned to Midway Airport.
One of the officers twice asked for an “accommodation” under the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) on grounds that fumes exacerbated his asthma, only to be denied because the Department of Aviation had a policy of denying all such claims. The policy was changed in 2009, Darling said.
The officers also claimed they were denied overtime, promotion and training because of race discrimination.