Chicago Eyes $4,900,000 Settlement for Family of Man Dragged From Cell in Handcuffs by Police

Philip Coleman
YouTube screenshot

Chicago has tentatively agreed to a $4.9 million settlement for the family of a man whom police dragged from his cell while he was in handcuffs, the Chicago Tribune reports

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office has already set up briefings this week with city aldermen to notify them of the settlement with the family of Philip Coleman, Black Caucus Chairman Alderman Roderick Sawyer told the Tribune. 


Coleman, 38, was arrested in 2012 after having a mental-health crisis during which he assaulted his mother at her home. Coleman later died after a deadly reaction to an antipsychotic drug. However, an autopsy showed that he had suffered more than 50 bruises and abrasions to his body, from the top of his head to his lower legs. 

Coleman's family have accused police of shocking him 13 times with a Taser at Roseland Community Hospital and repeatedly hitting him with a baton. 

In December, the Tribune notes, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly ruled that video of the incident showed a Chicago police employee using "brute force" when he dragged the handcuffed Coleman out of his cell by his arms and down a police station hallway. Kennelly also ruled that the employee's supervisor did not stop the abuse, and that no evidence existed that authorities gave Coleman the chance to leave his cell on his own after he was shocked repeatedly with a Taser. 

Kennelly, who is presiding over the Coleman family's civil lawsuit against the city, the Police Department and other defendants, wrote in the ruling that a jury will have to decide monetary damages against civilian detention aide Keith Kirkland and now-retired Sgt. Tommy Walker. 


"Kirkland chose to use brute force when it was no longer necessary," Kennelly wrote in his ruling. "Sgt. Walker conceded during his deposition that the officers could have stood Mr. Coleman up and told him to walk. … It is undisputed that Sgt. Walker could have ordered Kirkland not to drag, or to stop dragging, Mr. Coleman and that he chose not to do so."

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

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