City in Ohio Agrees to Pay Couple $450,000 to Settle Suit of Police Brutality From Viral 2017 Video

Richard Hubbard (center) with Yolimar Tirado and attorney Christopher McNeal.
Richard Hubbard (center) with Yolimar Tirado and attorney Christopher McNeal.
Photo: Dake Kang (AP)

Another day, another incident of taxpayers holding the bag for police officers who treat members of the public brutally and with impunity.

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The city of Euclid, in the Cleveland, Ohio metro area, says it will pay $450,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Richard Hubbard and Yolimar Tirado, related to a 2017 incident where an officer of the city’s police force was seen on viral video punching Hubbard repeatedly in the face.

According to a report by Cleveland.com, the city came to an agreement with 29-year-old Hubbard and his partner, 28-year-old Tirado, this week following a five-hour mediation session in federal court.

That’s on top of the almost four years that have passed since Euclid Police Department officer Michael Amiott was seen on video stopping Hubbard at a traffic light, and then quickly commencing to pummel the Black man in the face, kick him, slam him into the pavement and continue punching him repeatedly—all supposedly on the unfounded fear that Hubbard had a gun, but more likely because he was offended that the Black man had the temerity to ask why he was being arrested.

A lawsuit filed by Hubbard and Tirado against the city alleged that the Euclid cops who approached the couple—and later charged them both with resisting arrest—were fist-bumping each other after the on-camera assault.

“In these situations, the indignations that African Americans suffer often go unseen, unheard and uncompensated,” Christopher McNeal, an attorney for the couple told cleveland.com in response to the settlement. “I’m grateful that these individuals will be compensated for the pain and suffering that they went through.”

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After the incident made headlines in 2017, it also came out that Amiott had several previous use-of-force complaints against him. He was fired from the police department later that year and the charges were dropped against Hubbard and Tirado.

But by 2018 Amiott was given back his job at the Euclid Police Department at the behest of an arbitrator. The settlement to be paid to his alleged victims will come from the city’s coffers and not his pockets.

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Meanwhile, a criminal case against Amiott related to the brutal incident still languishes in the courts. He was charged with assault and interfering with civil rights for his actions during the traffic stop but has yet to go to trial, reports the News-Herald.

Viral video of a cop brutalizing a Black man, yet that police officer seeing no criminal conviction?

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The rusty wheels of injustice continue turning, and somehow nothing much seems to be changing.

Writer, speaker, finesser, and a fly dresser. Jamaican-American currently chilling in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

Today Joe Biden enacted a bunch of feel good EO’s and memo’s regarding the new wake of public shootings (you know people are feeling better about the pandemic if they are resuming this crap).

Maybe someone can convince him to pass one mandating that all cities must report all settlements for these kind of suits to the DoJ, and the DoJ publish this information in an easy to search system. Maybe require it list all such settlements for the past n years. Or at least put the data up where the public can access and create their own reports.

And a similar reporting system for cops who commit such abuses. And what was done to them. And why or why not — including “union contract” as a reason.

And failure to properly report data by a community -- federal dollars and support dries up. Biden has the authority to do that. He can say “You have 8 months to supply this data, or next years funds won’t be supplied. Once you supply the data, the federal government will supply you next years funds at a pro-rated amount.” 

Maybe once people start seeing that the cops in their localities are costing them 7 or 8 figures for this kind of bullshit, and nothing is being done to address the problem — they will start demanding reform a lot more loudly.