Chicago to pay family of black man dragged by handcuffs

CHICAGO The city of Chicago has agreed to pay the family of a black man who died after being dragged by handcuffs from a cell in a police lockup and down a hallway more than three years ago, an attorney for the family said on Monday.

Philip Coleman, 38, was arrested for domestic battery against his mother on Dec. 12, 2012.

After he refused to go to court the next morning, several police officers struggled with Coleman inside a cell, and he was Tasered, court records showed. In an incident caught on video, an officer dragged a motionless Coleman by his handcuffs.

Coleman later died at a hospital, according to court records. The Chicago Tribune reported that an autopsy showed he died of a reaction to an antipsychotic drug and also had bruises and abrasions on his body. Reuters was not able to confirm the cause of death.

Ed Fox, a lawyer for the family, told Reuters by phone that Coleman’s family and the city of Chicago had reached a settlement over the family’s civil rights lawsuit, but declined to confirm media reports that it was for $4.9 million.

The city’s law department declined to comment.

If the city council approves the settlement next week, the amount will be public.

Chicago police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been under national scrutiny since protests erupted last year after the release of a video showing the November 2014 shooting of a black teenager.

Protesters have called for Emanuel to resign over the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times. The officer, Jason Van Dyke, who is white, has been charged with murder, and Emanuel has apologized for the slaying.

In the wake of the protests, Emanuel fired his police chief and the Justice Department started an investigation of the Chicago Police Department to see whether there was a pattern of excessive use of lethal force.

In the Coleman case, a federal judge ruled in a December opinion that Officer Keith Kirkland and supervising officer Sergeant Tommy Walker were liable in their treatment of Coleman. Walker could have stopped the actions of Kirkland and intervene, but failed to do so. Both officers are black, Fox said.

Campbell’s family has said he had mental health issues.

Emanuel announced reforms in January to address how police and other emergency workers respond to the mentally ill, after a police officer shot dead an emotionally troubled college student and an innocent bystander.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis and Fiona Ortiz)

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