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Chicago's $2M lawsuit settlement keeps Emanuel off stand

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The police officers who blew the whistle on two bad cops settled a lawsuit with the City of Chicago on Tuesday. (WLS)

The police officers who blew the whistle on two bad cops settled their lawsuit with the City of Chicago. A federal judge announced the $2 million settlement Tuesday, the same day the trial was to begin.

If it had not been settled and instead went to trial, it could have meant testimony from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"This is a step in the right direction so officers can be at peace with reporting corruption and not fear retaliation. That is a great day for the entire city of Chicago. The police department and the citizens as well," said former Chicago police officer Shannon Spalding.

In 2007, then Officers Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria allege their superiors told them to ignore wrongdoing.

An FBI investigation followed and eventually former Officers Ronald Watts and Kallatt Mohammed were sentenced for shaking down drug dealers.

Spalding and Echeverria say they were threatened and given bad assignments after their participation in the FBI investigation.

They filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city four years ago.

Echeverria is still an officer and tells us he is grateful the litigation is over.

"There is only one direction to go now and that's forward," said Off. Echeverria.

Had the lawsuit gone forward, Mayor Emanuel, who has acknowledged a "code of silence" exists in the Chicago Police Department, may have been called to testify.

"The settlement here was about saving money for taxpayers because had we gone to trial as a city, there was a high probability it would have cost the city more. So it was not about me, it was about this case," said Emanuel.

As for Echeverria and Spalding, they will get about half of the $2 million settlement once legal fees are paid. But they say this action was never about the money.

"If no other officer has to walk one day in our shoes, it'll be worth everything that I lost personally, which includes the job that I love so much," said Spalding.

Upon hearing about the settlement, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said there will be severe penalties for anyone who harasses whistleblowers. Johnson is setting up an anonymous way for officers to report wrong doing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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