Cleveland Settles Rodney Brown’s Wrongful Death Suit for $375,000

Brown died on New Year’s Eve in 2010 after Cleveland police used a Taser on him. 

A Cleveland police officer looks on as people take to the streets to protest May 23, 2015, after Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people in a 2012 car chase in which officers fired a total of 137 shots.
A Cleveland police officer looks on as people take to the streets to protest May 23, 2015, after Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people in a 2012 car chase in which officers fired a total of 137 shots. Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images

The family of a black man who died after Cleveland police used a Taser on him in 2010 will settle with the city for $375,000, the mayor’s office announced Thursday, Reuters reports.

Rodney Brown was pulled over Dec. 31, 2010, by two Cleveland police officers who used a Taser on him and further subdued him with a blow to the neck before putting him in a patrol car.

Police radio captured Brown telling officers, “I can’t breathe.” An officer can be heard responding, “So? Who gives a [f–k].”

First responders were unable to resuscitate Brown, 40. His death was found to have been the result of “tasering on an enlarged hypertensive heart” and was ultimately ruled a homicide caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest following physical exertion during law-enforcement activity,” the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office determined.

Brown’s mother, Shirley Brown, filed a lawsuit in 2011 accusing the Cleveland police of using excessive force, assault and battery, and wrongful death. Shirley Brown also charged that officers did not have probable cause to stop her son’s vehicle.

Officers said that Rodney Brown was slurring his words after he was pulled over for not having his headlights on, and that he tried to flee the scene. Officers said they had “a prolonged and vigorous struggle” that took “the collective effort of eight police officers, six who arrived as backup.” Officers also said that Brown pulled out a knife during the altercation.

A trial that had been scheduled for next month has since been canceled, and the settlement is awaiting approval in probate court, Reuters notes.

Read more at Raw Story.

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