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$185,000 Settlement For Man Needlessly Beaten By Seattle Police

Seattle resident Maikoiyo Alley Barnes (plaintiff) brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Seattle police after being beaten in 2005 for questioning a sergeant's motives to ticket his friend for littering. The suit settled for $185,000.

The plaintiff questioned police sergeant Greg Sackman's motive for citing his friend for littering outside a night club in Capitol Hill. Sackman had the plaintiff arrested. He was thrown to the ground by police and beaten. Photos showed his face to be bruised and swollen. He brought the § 1983 action against Sackman, police officers Brian Hunt, Kevin Jones and Courtney Harris, as well as police chief Gil Kerlikowske who denied requests to better train his employees.

An internal investigation found that Sackman overreacted by issuing the littering citation and that his supervision of the involved police officers was inadequate when ordering the plaintiff arrested. A union contract provision regarding timely investigation precluded disciplinary action against Sackman. Since the police department held back evidence from a patrol car camera during the incident until five days into the plaintiff's trial, his charges for obstruction and resisting arrest were dismissed. Source: Seattle Post Intelligence, "Seattle To Pay Man Beaten By Police $185,000," Nov. 23, 2007.

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