Due to a federal civil rights lawsuit the city of Seattle will have to pay one family $1.75 million. The lawsuit was filed by the father of a mentally ill man who was mistreated by the Seattle police. The man suffered severe head trauma as the police held him down, made him choke on his own vomit and blood and handcuffed and gagged him. The settlement is one of the largest the city has ever paid for excessive-force claims. The second largest settlement was $1.5 million that was given because a police officer fatally shot another man.
The accident occurred when the parents of the mentally ill man called police. The schizophrenic man was having a mental break down so his parents called police officers in order to calm him down. However, the officers decided to arrest him due to an outstanding misdemeanor warrant that the man had. According to officers, the man was cooperative. When the officers grabbed the man, however, a brawl ensued and several officers arrived to get a hold of the man.
The 45 year-old mentally ill man suffered severe injuries from police. He was elbowed in the face, tased twice, and handcuffed. The police officers even placed a mesh over his head to prevent getting bodily fluids on the officers. At one point, several officers held him face-down onto the floor to the extent that the mesh filled with blood and vomit. According to the family’s attorney, several officers knelt on the man’s chest making it impossible for him to breathe.
Witnesses at the scene said that the police officers’ actions were very excessive. One even said that the officers threw him face down on a backboard. It is estimated that after 20 minutes of the struggle, the man stopped breathing. He was hospitalized for several weeks at a nearby medical center.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s reports, the police department often used excessive force when handling mentally ill or intoxicated individuals. If you suffered excessive force or injury from a police officer, security guard, or any individual, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement for your pain and suffering. Contact us today.