Tags: Law Enforcement | payouts | police misconduct | lawsuits | Florida

Largest Payouts for Police Misconduct Lawsuits in Florida

By    |   Saturday, 15 August 2015 12:32 AM

Police shootings and use of Tasers are among the complaints that have led to large payouts for police misconduct lawsuits in Florida.

In March 2015, city commissioners in Miami approved a $1.25 million settlement in the 2011 police shooting death of Travis McNeil.

McNeil had been pulled over in a traffic stop after leaving the Take One Cocktail Lounge in Miami. He was with his cousin Kareem Williams. He was boxed in at the stop by nine officers in three unmarked police cars, the Daily Business Review reported. Officers later shot McNeil and Williams.

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"The officers did not suspect that McNeil was armed or a member of a gang," McNeil family attorneys said in a statement, according to the Review. "He had at most committed a traffic violation. Yet rather than complete a typical traffic stop, three law enforcement vehicles converged on Mr. McNeil's car and attempted to box him in."

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. It found Miami officers had used excessive force.

Noted the Miami Herald of the case: "The shooting was the last in a string of deadly encounters between Miami police and black men, prompting a review of department shootings by the U.S. Department of Justice. It was among the most controversial, because McNeil was armed not with a gun, but with a cell phone."

The city of Cedar Key, Florida, agreed in 2010 to pay a $575,000 settlement to Danny Beckham, who was stunned with a Taser during a dispute with police officers over a double-parked truck, The Gainesville Sun reported.

Police charged Beckham with resisting arrest and violence, but the case was dismissed. The police department changed its policies to require more training and internal investigations anytime a Taser is used.

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"Now our use-of-force policy and Taser-use policy are patterened after the Florida Highway Patrol's," Police Chief Virgil Sandlin said, according to the Sun. "And we are having training on a much more regular basis."

Jacksonville agreed to pay $200,000 to the family of an 80-year-old man who was shot to death by an undercover police officer in 2007, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Police officers James Narcisse, and Darrin Green were posing as drug dealers and were on Isaac Singletary’s property when the elderly man confronted them, the Times-Union said. Singletary, who was known to run drug dealers off his lawn, pointed a gun at the officers, and was shot by Narcisse and another officer who ran to the scene when the shootout occurred.

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Police shootings and use of Tasers are among the complaints that have led to large payouts for police misconduct lawsuits in Florida.
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Saturday, 15 August 2015 12:32 AM
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