A Black man who was left paralyzed after an Iowa police officer shot him has received a $8 million settlement.
Jerime Mitchell was shot by former Cedar Rapids police officer Lucas Jones in 2016 during a traffic stop. Mitchell’s attorneys believe the settlement is the largest for a police-involved shooting in the state’s history.
The civil trial was to begin Tuesday (April 20), the outlet reported, but the city’s insurance company settled. With the settlement, there is no acknowledgement of wrongdoing on the part of the officer or the city.
Jones reportedly pulled Mitchell over on November 1, 2016 because Mitchell’s license plate light wasn’t working. Police dash cam video, obtained by The Gazette, shows a struggle occurred as Jones attempted to arrest Mitchell. Jones fired into the vehicle as Mitchell tried to drive away. According to The Associated Press, Jones had previously been cleared in a separate fatal shooting in 2015.
Mitchell, who has daily rehabilitation sessions, says the money will be used to support his medical treatment that he might not have gotten otherwise.
“I’ve gotten down to my elbows, to start feeling stuff,” Mitchell told KCRG, adding later that he’ll now be able to participate in stem cell programs.
“Go talk to the community, and let them know that the police training definitely needs to be redone,” Mitchell said. “And reforming to me is weeding out of all all the bad, because all cops aren’t bad,” he said.
Cedar Rapids fired Jones, but for violating the department's policy. According to a report by Yahoo News, Mitchell’s attorney, Larry Rogers, Jr., said their lawsuit forced a deposition where Jones admitted to turning off audio equipment to hide policy violations in the shift before Mitchell was shot.
"While the settlement will allow Jerime [and his wife] to provide for Jerime's future healthcare needs, the most significant result of litigation... was getting Lucas Jones fired as a police officer."
Cedar Rapids said it hopes to strengthen trust between law enforcement and the community. "This case has been divisive to our community and it is our hope that we can continue to enhance relationships that build trust between our community and our Police Department," the city said in a statement. "We all share the desire for a safe community."
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