Cook County Record

Sunday, December 8, 2019

City, police officers face wrongful death suit over 2008 shooting of teen

By Annie Cosby | Aug 27, 2014


A woman is suing the city, claiming her son was unlawfully, fatally shot by a Chicago police officer four years ago.

Cassandra Arnold, individually and as a special administrator of the Estate of Martinez Winford, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Aug. 11 in the Cook County Circuit Court against the City of Chicago and Police Officers Zachary Rubald and Miguel Romero.

According to the complaint, Winford, 16 at the time, was at the intersection of East 89th Street and Langley Avenue in Chicago with a group of other teenagers on Aug. 22, 2008, when the group was stopped by officers Rubald and Romero for a field interview.

Arnold claims Winford ran and was then chased by car by Rubald and Romero. Rubald claimed Winford climbed a fence and from the top, pointed a firearm at the officers before he shot him twice in self-defense, the suit alleges. Winford died 45 minutes after being shot.

The complaint states after the shooting, Rubald attempted to justify his actions by falsely claiming Winford drew a gun on the two officers even though other cops at the scene didn't see a firearm and wasn't mentioned on the dispatch.

Arnold further contends the officers said Winford fired with his right hand, even though he was left-handed, and that other evidence contradicted his  claim of self-defense.

She is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is being represented in the case by attorneys Andrew Staes, Stephen Scallan and Michael Cohen of Staes & Scallan P.C. in Chicago.

The complaint notes it was originally brought in 2009 and removed to the federal court, before being dismissed without prejudice on July 29. It was re-filed earlier this month to amend the cause of its initial removal and amplified with new evidence.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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City of Chicago