The Crusader Newspaper Group

Family Of Phillip Coleman Settles For $4.9M

By Desire Thompson,

The family of Philip Coleman, the man who died after being violently dragged from his cell by Chicago police in December 2012, has received a $4.9 million settlement for his death.

The settlement was reportedly reached on Feb. 19, just a few months after unearthed surveillance footage of the moments leading up to Coleman’s death was shown to the public. Coleman, 38, was tased and dragged by police officers after he was taken into police custody in December 2012. The Chicago native suffered a mental breakdown the night before, during which he allegedly assaulted his mother.

After being tased and stunned multiple times, Coleman was taken to a local hospital, where he died a few hours later.

In December, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly found Officer Keith Kirkland and Sgt. Tommy Walker responsible for the incident, saying they “chose to use brute force when it was no longer necessary.” Kirkland was seen dragging Coleman from the cell under Walker’s supervision. Because an investigation is still ongoing, Judge Kennelly has allowed the jury to decide damages owed to the family.

Sharon Fairley, executive director of the Independent Police Review Authority, told reporters their investigation should be completed in a few weeks. The settlement will be presented to the City Council’s Finance Committee on April 11.

Coleman’s case was one of many eye-opening police brutality encounters that elicited heavy criticism against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration. The treatment of visual evidence in this incident has been compared to the Laquan McDonald video, which was kept from public view for months – until escalating unrest amongst activists and the teen’s family forced its release.

The court awarded McDonald’s family a $5 million settlement before a lawsuit was even filed.

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