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City of Boston Settles in Excessive Use of Force Claim

In the United States District Court of the District of Massachusetts, the City of Boston on behalf of its employees agreed in March 2012 to settle a lawsuit alleging excessive use of force upon the plaintiff Michael P. O’Brien by Boston Police Officer David C. Williams. The suit settled for $1.4 million. This was the second such incident involving Officer Williams, both of which resulted in Williams being fired from the police force. He was reinstated after the first incident. The agreement stipulated in the instant case non-admission of liability, again permitting Williams’ petition for reinstatement to the Boston Police Department.
On March 16, 2009, Williams and his partner, Officer Diep Hung Nguyen, responded to a call about an altercation between the drivers of two vehicles. O’Brien was backing one of the vehicles down a one-way street when he clipped a double-parked BMW. The drivers got loud and Officer Williams became involved.
Williams claimed O’Brien pushed Officer Nguyen, prompting Williams to take O’Brien down “like a tackling dummy.” Williams did not mention a strangle hold. O’Brien claimed he recorded the interaction between Officer Nguyen and the driver of his car when Williams tackled him and applied the strangle hold during internal investigation.
O’Brien in his suit claimed debilitating dizziness and headaches and permanent brain damage. Medical reports showed injuries consistent with a strangle hold. O’Brien claimed excessive use of force and the city settled. See: O’Brien v. Williams, U.S.D.C. (D. Mass.), Case No. 1:09-cv-11588-GAO.

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Related legal case

O’Brien v. Williams