Rachelle Jackson, a trained nurse, pulled two policemen out of their burning squad car ... and rather than being thanked for her heroic effort, she was arrested on charges that she robbed, battered and disarmed a peace officer and jailed for 10 months!
Jackson sued the city and several Chicago police officers, and a federal jury had just awarded her almost $8 million for false arrest, malicious prosecution, coercive questioning, and intentional infliction of emotional distress:
The case began in November 2002, when a car ran a stop sign in Jackson's neighborhood, slamming into the squad car. Jackson was walking nearby and rushed to the scene. When she arrived, the officer behind the wheel was unconscious and the passenger, Officer Kelly Brogan, was dazed.
She pulled Brogan from the wreckage and helped her to a nearby stoop. Soon after, police approached Jackson and told her that the driver's weapon had been stolen. When she was asked to go to the police station for questioning, she thought it was as a witness to the accident.
Instead, Jackson was accused of the theft. She was held for two days with little food and water and was threatened with violence until she agreed to sign a statement police had prepared for her. She was then charged and spent more than 10 months in the Cook County Jail awaiting trial.