Activist wins victory in legal fight for information after woman struck by Chicago police car dies

William Calloway helped force Chicago officals to release the infamous Laquan McDonald video during the 2015 election cycle.

Craig Wall Image
ByCraig Wall via WLS logo
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

A pedestrian hit by a car belonging to the Chicago Police Department died in 2019. A local activist won a victory in the legal fight for information.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of a woman who died earlier this year after being hit by a police car in 2019 is accusing the city and the police department of covering up her death.

William Calloway, who helped force the city to release the infamous Laquan McDonald video during the 2015 election cycle, says his fight to help Marina Standley's family is bringing back some bad memories.

"I want them to look at this. I want them to see this young woman that passed away and see this family, see us standing here. We need answers," said Rain Standley, the victim's sister.

Martina's family is frustrated. Nearly eight months after she died, they still don't know the results of her autopsy. The South Shore woman was knocked to the ground by a squad car in 2019, suffering critical head injuries. Her family believes that was the ultimate cause of her death in January.

Calloway just won a default decision by a judge because of the city's refusal to release emails and texts related to the incident that may hold clues as to what happened.

"What is so detrimental and sensitive in the emails and texts that we requested that the Chicago Police Department is willing to go into default judgement," Calloway said.

Standing with the family on 71st Street, where the incident happened, Calloway asked the judge to award him $720,000, the maximum allowed under the law for willfully keeping the information under wraps.

"I believe it's a cover-up and a conspiracy to keep the truth away," said Forestine Williams, the victim's mother.

Calloway referred to his efforts to get the city to release the Laquan McDonald dash cam video, which then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel got delayed until after the election that year.

"It feels real deja vu to me. It feels real 2015 deja vu to me," Calloway said.

He saw a similar pattern with Mayor Lori Lightfoot's handling of the Standley case.

"And it ties in to the mayoral election as well right now, because you're keeping this information, city government is keeping this information away from the public at a time where elections are happening," Calloway said.