Family of teen critically hurt in Wicker Park hit-and-run files lawsuit, pushes CPD to arrest driver

Attorneys release new video of hit and run at Division and Ashland

Michelle Gallardo Image
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Family of teen critically hurt in hit-and-run sues, pushes for arrest
Attorneys for the family of Nakari Campbell released new surveillance video of the Wicker Park hit-and-run.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gathered outside Chicago Police Headquarters on Thursday morning, the family of 17-year-old Nakari Campbell and their attorneys announced a lawsuit they say is aimed at getting police to find and arrest the hit-and-run driver who, on Aug. 4, critically injured the teenager as she was crossing the street at Division and Ashland in Wicker Park.

"She was supposed to be walking to Wendy's. She got dragged to Wendy's. How? How can any one of us be OK with it?" said Imari Bibbs, the victim's mother.

At the time of the crash, police released a photo showing a red Mercedes sedan with tinted windows, along with its license plate, as they sought the driver. On Thursday, attorneys shared new video of the incident.

The lawsuit, filed two weeks ago, names the owner of the vehicle as the defendant. ABC7 is not identifying that person because they have not been charged with a crime.

"The police knocked on a door. A mom said, 'My son doesn't want to talk to you.' But, instead of putting out an alert, or putting out an arrest warrant, or bringing them down for questioning... There's been no attempt to get any information from who was driving this car," said Attorney Cierra Norris.

Attorneys said filing the lawsuit has allowed them to conduct their own investigation. But, it doesn't allow them to track the vehicle in the way police can. Campbell's family said the last time they heard from detectives was Aug. 5, the day after the hit and run.

"To not even try is a slap in the face to this family. It's a slap in the face to this community," Norris said.

Campbell, who should have been starting her senior year in high school, is instead at a rehab facility recovering from her injuries, which, for a while, left her in a medically-induced coma.

"From the day it happened, all the way until now, man, she's a true fighter," Bibbs said.

Police on Thursday would not respond to the accusations of inaction being leveled against them in this case, saying only the investigation is active and ongoing. The owner of the vehicle named in the lawsuit did not respond to ABC7 request for comment.