Tags: Law Enforcement | police misconduct | lawsuit | payouts | Iowa

Largest Payouts for Police Misconduct Lawsuits in Iowa

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 09:23 AM

Improper Taser use and excessive force — by both officers and a police dog — are among reasons public entities have paid police misconduct lawsuit settlements in Iowa.

Here are four significant misconduct payout amounts from the Hawkeye State.

$500,000 to Octavius Bonds and Erin Evans
The Des Moines City Council voted in 2011 to pay $500,000 to Octavius Bonds and Erin Evans to settle a lawsuit they had filed claiming former police officers Mersed Dautovic and John Mailander assaulted them and violated their civil rights in 2008, according to WOWT-TV. The officers alleged that after they pulled over a vehicle Evans was driving, she refused to cooperate with them and Bonds threatened them. Police struck Bonds with nightsticks 14 times in the head, back, arms and legs, The Des Moines Register reported. Mailander was sentenced to probation in 2013 on an excessive force conviction in the case. The Register reported that Dautovic strangled his former girlfriend to death and committed suicide by hanging in April 2015, on the day before he was to be sentenced on an excessive force conviction in the case.

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$150,000 to three men
The city of Dubuque, Iowa, agreed to pay $150,000 as a settlement in 2012 to three men who alleged the use excessive force by one of the city’s police dogs, which by that point was retired, according to the Telegraph Herald. Plaintiff Antoine Clemons claimed that at the end of a vehicle and foot chase in 2008 he had knelt on the ground with his hands on his head, but handler officer Brian Wullweber nevertheless released the police dog, which bit him repeatedly on his left arm, left hip and on the top of his head. The other two plaintiffs, Michael Cooper and Phillip Robinson, were added to the lawsuit after claiming similar interactions with Wullweber and the same police dog, the Telegraph Herald reported.

$150,000 to Justin Shekleton
Chickasaw County, Iowa, agreed to pay a $150,000 settlement to Justin Shekleton, whom The Des Moines Register reported was being questioned by Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Eichenberger about an apparent argument outside a bar in 2008 when a change in Shekleton’s stance ultimately led to Eichenberger’s using a Taser on him. Eichenberger interpreted Shekleton’s posture and stance as being aggressive and ordered him to put his hands behind his back, but that was painful and difficult for Shekleton to do because of an injury suffered in a 1998 hunting accident. As bystanders tried to warn the deputy about Shekleton’s lame arm, Eichenberger tried unsuccessfully to put Shekleton into an arm bar then gave him a jolt with his Taser, causing him to fall to the ground and suffer head injuries, the Register reported.

$80,000 to Kyle Ray
Des Moines County agreed to pay $80,000 as a settlement to Kyle Ray after Deputy Robert Purdy used a Taser on him in 2009, according to The Des Moines Register. Purdy had stopped an ATV driven by Ray’s brother, Adam Ray, which had Kyle Ray riding on the back and was later determined to be stolen, the Register said. A video showed Kyle Ray was on his knees with his hands behind his head when he asked Purdy if he was “for real” and Purdy responded by delivering a Taser jolt to Kyle Ray and said, “Yes, I’m real,” then ordering Adam Ray to “Get on the (expletive) ground.” Purdy feared the two men were going to attack him, the Register said.

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Improper Taser use and excessive force - by both officers and a police dog - are among reasons public entities have paid police misconduct lawsuit settlements in Iowa.
police misconduct, lawsuit, payouts, Iowa
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2015-23-11
Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 09:23 AM
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