Nurse Pulled Cops Out of Burning Car, Got 10 Months in Jail For It

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.

Link - via reddit

It almost looks like the cops these days aren't just bright. Anyone read that story recently of the police candidate in the UK who was - get this - too SMART for the force? So, they said he couldn't join! What the Hell?!
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There is no way in hell that woman deserves 7.7 million TAX DOLLARS. She should get money for lost wages and a bit of restitution. Even 1 million dollars is excessive.

And who's to say which story is correct? Were there other witnesses to the situation? If there weren't than it is complete he said/she said and there's no reason to believe the nurse over the cop and vice versa. The article was horribly biased against the cops, as well.

Poo poo on bad journalism!
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If she stole the weapon - it would have been found on her or somewhere near her.

What may have happened is the weapon was dropped during the rescue and picked up by a passersby.

If only she had called a Lawyer during her two day interrogation, her life would have changed.

Perhaps because she was 'asked' to go - she was not entitled to the same protections as someone who was arrested and held for two days.

You can be 'asked' to go and held for two days in Chicago???
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From what I've read from others comments who live in the area, there were other witnesses to the crash and no one reported an "attack" happening. Also read that there were numerous people trying to "help" so anyone could've taken the cops stuff.

I can't believe they try to say she had one of the officers in a full nelson. Well DUH.. how else was she going to pull their ungrateful asses out of the car? Maybe she should've dragged them out by their damn ears.

UGH just stories like this make me sick. Nothing against cops.. but everything against stupid people.
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I live in Chicago and the stories about our police are just embarrassing. There's a few still on PAID leave after being videotaped beating up a female bartender while drunk.

She deserves every cent because she had to actually sue them to get restitution. They didn't own up to their frivolous action on their own. Not only that, their actions weren't just frivolous but illegal and in contempt of civil rights. A JUDGE realized how awful the case was and threw it he said/she said her all the freedom she needed to seek retribution.
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i don't agree with the deserves every cent crowd. sure she deserves some compensation, but 8 million? this number just reeks of a "deep pockets" mentality. why is her 10 months worth 8 million?
the main thing she, and the rest of chicago's taxpayers, deserve is the offending police officers fired and/or jailed.
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While I don't believe that lawsuits are the end all solution to problems, in this case, I agree that she deserves every cent. I also feel that the lawsuit and the amount involved has drawn attention to the inept people that are hired to "protect and serve" who need weeding out. People like those cops are the reason that so many of us no longer respect the authority of a police officer. This story and others like it that have not garnered so much publicity are the reason that little old men that get hit by cars are left to suffer in the street.
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Where do the people who believe she deserves "every cent" think the money comes from? It comes from tax dollars. These people were cops paid by the city, she sued the city's police department. The people of Chicago have to pay for this. The police department isn't a private company where they have assets and profits. Yes, she was mistreated and now with further information, I do believe that this is not a he said/she said incident. The cop freaked because he lost his gun. That being said, she does not deserve 8 million dollars. That IS excessive.
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Just because the car had some smoke coming out of it, doesn't mean it was full on "burning." She is a nurse, not trained in extraction techniques, like firemen are, she could have gotten sued had the officer gotten paralyzed or died due to her full nelson extraction. She should have called 911, waited for fire and rescue, then offered her services, if needed, after they got pulled out.
She didn't deserve 10 months in jail though.
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MM The tax payer of Chicago Shouldn't have to pay for the for the actions of the Police department But I bet if you looked at the budget for the police department a large part of it goes to lawsuits..this article regarding negligent investigations.. must be a common occurance if the department took it to such blatant disregards to personnel rights.. I can just imagine what type of mindset the policy maker of the department are really thinking behind closed doors ;above the law and above the common people..
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She deserves it the money. If I'd lost the better part of a year of my life, no less at the hands of someone who's life I tried to save (whether necessary or not), I'd feel that no amount of money could make up for the lost months of my life. 10 months without friends, family or any form of a life. I'd sue too, and I bet most of the detractors wouldn't think twice about it, either.
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While all previous posters have put their different spins on the story (burning car, not burning car, many helpers versus none, usw), it's pretty obvious that we should view the race issue.
Nurse Jackson is a nurse of colour - she is therefore genetically inclined to diss whitey, hate the cops and steal stuff. My, I've heard those black nurses even spit in your meds...
She was shafted because she was convenient and probably thought to be acquiescent when charged.
Good for her for standing up for her rights - eight million bucks (no matter where it comes from) isn't nearly enough.
Those complaining about their 'tax dollars' being 'wasted' on such a 'frivolous' matter should perhaps be having a look at the culture of a Police department which is so fucked up that trumped up charges seem to be a Standrad Operating Procedure - the problem is not that she took them to court, the problem is that the PD NEEDED to be taken to Court in the first place.
Every action the Police take which puts them in disrepute reduces any respect for the law.
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She got off light in Chicago.

In Cincinnati, our cops would have killed her. I say that in complete seriousness, unfortunately.

I do wonder why she didn't ask for a lawyer though...perhaps her thinking was that if she asked for one, she'd look guilty? Just speculation. Then again, how was she thrown in for 10 months?

I feel horrible for her and believe she does deserve justice, but there's a lot missing in the story.
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You know what munky, I think that's just stupid. The conversation was going quite well until someone threw in the race card. Maybe her ethnicity had something to do with it, but not all. She was irresponsible in jumping in without calling 911- I'm a trained lifeguard, and know how to pull people out of things and give rescue breathing/cpr, but if I see an accident I am sure as HELL not going to proceed like she did. That was just stupid.

Your comment: "Those complaining about their ‘tax dollars’ being ‘wasted’ on such a ‘frivolous’ matter should perhaps be having a look at the culture of a Police department which is so fucked up that trumped up charges seem to be a Standrad Operating Procedure - the problem is not that she took them to court, the problem is that the PD NEEDED to be taken to Court in the first place"

YOU pay part of the $8 million to give to her then, how about that? I've been pulled over by cops of every color (4 times for looking too YOUNG to drive- talk about a bias there), the ONLY one that mistreated me was Hispanic. He hit on me, asked me to get out of the car to show him my eye color to prove my license wasn't a fake, and I called 911 on HIM. That doesn't mean all Hispanic cops are racist, it just means he was a prick. So yes, obviously because the woman was black, all the officers involved HAD to be racist, right?

You're right, it does take respect away from the law, however it does NOT warrant your comments.
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Wow. Good detective work there, munky, this whole shebang must have been because she was not white. Cause, you know, if a white nurse had pulled two cops out of a NON-BURNING vehicle improperly, she wouldn't have been asked to come in for questioning. Oh, and no way in hell would she have been kept there- whites know how to treat their own, right? Cause all the cops involved (including the officers that questioned her, approached her after the incident, ALL of them) must all be white, and completely racist, right?

The only bad experience I've ever had with a cop was with a Hispanic guy. He pulled me over for no apparent reason and asked for my license, then asked me if my eyes were really gray. He proceeded to hit on me (made weirder by the fact that he pulled me over because he thought I was too YOUNG to be driving, which I've been pulled over before 3 other times, but never treated this way- not by cops of any color) and ask me if I could step out of the vehicle. I called 911 on his scary ass. I don't think all Hispanic cops are pervert freaks who try to get young girls now, and I don't think all white cops are racist ass holes. By the way, do you even know that the officers involved were white? You seem to be making a lot of assumptions that you probably shouldn't be making.

How about this, you contribute to the 8 million bucks they're paying her. See how you like it then.
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NOW it tells me that my comment was submitted before... and here I thought my internet was freaking out. Sorry for the redundant second post, guys :\
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Typical fuked up USA. What a loser country! The true joke of the world. Watch an episode of Cops. Them poor buggers are living in a Police State! Arrested for just walking the streets! Ha! Losers!
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Hey, Joe... the USSR no longer exists, and when it did it was the ultimate police state.

Either you're here to get a rise out of people or you genuinely know nothing. Whatever.
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She attacked the cops and the person she was with stole the gun. How do I know? I was at the scene.

It’s funny how a story can get spun. She got that money cause of a "jury of peers" and when average citizens are on a jury they ALWAYS side against the police and obvious criminals get to walk. R.Kelly got off and if any one with two eyes watched that tape they would know it was him.

Plus, don't help a cop next time there might be an issue. I want you to just pass on by but when you need help do it yourself - don't bother calling 911.

All you posters are just like the typical self-righteous public with their anti-police attitude. It’s depressing to know that I have to protect people like you but you would not lift a finger to help someone else. Not all cops are jerks. Granted a lot of them are but most of them just want you to not break the law.

Walk a mile, my comrades, walk a mile.
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Did anyone notice that in the actual article, it was the cop she pulled out that said she got her in a headlock, not a bystander? I find that interesting because, as a nurse, she would know that an action like that would seriously injure someone, especially if they'd been in a car accident. Also, it seems really weird to me that she pulled the conscious cop out of the car, not the passed-out one. Go ahead, sheople, jump on the cop bandwagon. Then rant on about how unjust Rodney King's treatment was (I'm sure most of you commenting don't even know WHY he was beaten, so please, go on!) and how right those people were to riot in LA. Please, tell me how it's awesome that I got evacuated from my home because I'm white, and in LA at that time, white people were the enemy.

She, if she'd been behaving as a nurse (my aunt is one, and actually commented on this- so this isn't BS, just so you know), would have immediately called 911, checked the status of both officers but NOT moved them, and waited for help to arrive. If one of the officers needed assistance getting out, she could help them, but nurses should not and WOULD NOT pull a person out of a car using the head or neck.

Her story seems completely unreal, and I can't believe she got any money, let alone $8 million. Yay for idiots who just like blaming the cops. Talk about a powertrip.
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She should have just let them burn in the car. And this world still has asshole commenter's like the one above me, obviously like the bastard cops in the car.
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Oh yeah, I'm an asshole for
a) Bringing up that race is ridiculous in this case
b) Saying how she reacted improperly
c) How she SHOULD have reacted, based on her training
d) The article is biased, and everyone seems to LOVE blaming law enforcements these days.

It's not like I'm actually trying to get an objective view here or anything, not at all. By the way, they weren't burning. The car wasn't on fire. How about actually reading before commenting, sound good?
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