Minneapolis settles police custody death lawsuit for $3M


A $3 million settlement has been reached between the City of Minneapolis and the family of a man who died after a police altercation in September of 2010, the Pioneer Press reports.

The family of David Smith will receive $1.1 million in the settlement of the police misconduct suit, and the Smith family's attorney, Gaskins Bennett Birrell & Schupp, will receive $1.975 million in fees.

The 28-year-old Smith died about a week after an altercation at the downtown Minneapolis YMCA. Smith was Tased by officers who then placed him on his stomach and put their knees on his back to restrain him, the paper says.

Former Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan maintains the two officers who restrained Smith appeared to have used proper protocols and procedures.

According to the Star Tribune, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Smith's death a homicide.

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal called the settlement the "responsible way to bring this to a close in the face of mounting legal costs that would continue to grow significantly through a trial."

Meanwhile, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau expressed sympathy to Smith's family, but noted that it's an "unfortunate reality" that "in any situation where police must restrain someone, there can be unintended results."

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