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$500,000 Settlement In Shooting Death of Mentally Ill Individual

The Sheriff of Franklin County, Ohio agreed to settle a suit concerning the shooting death of a mentally ill individual for $500,000.

Nasir A. Abdi, a Somali immigrant, had a history of mental illness. When Abdi failed to comply with his physician’s treatment instructions, the Franklin County Probate Court issued a warrant for his arrest. The arrest warrant directed that the “persuasion and crisis intervention team” be utilized in executing the warrant, if necessary.

Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies found and attempted to arrest Abdi, but he was uncooperative. After Abdi drew a knife, the officers drew their weapons. Abdi was then maced by one of the officers. After being hit by the mace, Abdi turned his back and bent over. One of the officers then attempted to take Abdi into custody. Abdi turned and swung the knife at the officer causing the officer to fall back. One of the other officers shot Abdi to death, believing that the officer’s life was in danger.

Abdi’s mother sued the Sheriff of Franklin County alleging that Franklin County had inadequate policies and training concerning the arrest of mentally ill individuals. The Sheriff decided to settle for $500,000 and agreed to institute policies and training related to arresting mentally ill individuals. The plaintiff was represented by Frederick Mortin Gittes and E. Roberta Wade of Gittes and Schulte. See: Abdi v. Karnes, USDC, SDOH, No. c2-06-971.

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Related legal case

Abdi v. Karnes

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