Cedar Rapids paid $619K to defend officer in shooting case – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-05-06 12:29:50 –

Iowa City, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids paid $ 619,000 to protect white police officers from excessive compulsory proceedings …

Iowa City, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids is overpowered by a black man he shot and paralyzed before the second largest city in Iowa reached a breakthrough settlement of $ 8 million in Iowa. I paid $ 619,000 to protect a white police officer from the proceedings in Iowa. A city spokeswoman said.

Previously undisclosed legal costs will be added to the large payments resulting in 2016 when then-police officer Lucas Jones shot and killed Jerry Mitchell during a traffic outage. The city budget covers the first $ 500,000 before insurance begins. That’s almost twice the Cedar Rapids saved this year by closing the golf course, and 20 times the amount spent on the new board to consider complaints to executives.

Jones was said to have pulled Mitchell because he didn’t have a license plate light, and their late-night encounter quickly escalated. After wrestling with the cop and his dog, Mitchell eventually boarded his truck and Jones clung to him and started driving. Jones fired three times and paralyzed Mitchell with a bullet around his neck. The prosecutor cleared Jones with a shooting and concluded that he had fired in self-defense.

Mitchell and his wife filed a proceeding in 2017 for debilitating injuries as a result of Jones’ negligence. The proceedings alleged that Jones had no basis for a traffic suspension, used Mitchell improperly in several ways, and fired at unarmed Mitchell without justification. The city also claimed to have made a mistake by hiring Jones, who was cleared after shooting 21-year-old Jonathan Gossman in 2015.

The day before the case was to be tried last month, the city announced that the settlement with Mitchell had reached $ 8 million and the insurance company would pay the full amount. This is the largest settlement of police shooting in Iowa’s history. Cedar Rapids did not admit cheating, claiming that Jones acted appropriately in light of the outage situation.

In addition to extensive work by its staff lawyers who represented the city but did not track their time, the city incurred $ 688,000 in legal costs during the four-year proceedings, spokesman Maria Johnson said. Told the Associated Press on Wednesday. She said this included $ 619,000 paid to the Lynch Dallas law firm, which was hired to represent Jones in the case.

Lynch Dallas also defended the city and Jones from a proceeding filed by Gossman’s relatives. Gossman was shot 24 times by Jones and another officer after fleeing a drug-related stop with a pistol in 2015. The Federal Court of Appeals in December upheld the dismissal of the judge. In that case, it was decided that the use of deadly force was rational. As in Mitchell’s case, Jones released his dog, Bain, to attack the suspect before shooting him.

According to Johnson, the risk fund included in the city’s budget covers $ 500,000 in statutory costs, which can be deducted under insurance contracts. The rest will be covered by insurance.

Proceedings increased and Mitchell’s trial was postponed as the city sought to defend its ability to hide records related to shootings.

The city insisted on sharing investigative police records only if Mitchell’s lawyer agreed not to make it publicly available. This is the condition they rejected. The judge ordered the city to make records without a protection order that would prevent public disclosure.

The city and Jones appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 2019, which unanimously upheld the judge’s order. However, the court also confirmed that police records could be permanently exempt from Iowa’s criminal record law, even after the investigation was completed. Public security agencies routinely cite decisions to reject requests from reporters and lawyers.

Despite the settlement, the Mitchell case still generated more legal costs in the city, and dismissed Jones last year after his testimony in testimony prompted another investigation into the handling of traffic suspensions in 2016. ..

The city is currently paying two law firms to defend Jones’ appeal for a resurrection. The Cedar Rapids Civil Service Commission supported Jones’s dismissal in December, and he urged judges to overturn that decision. Cedar Rapids lawyers defend the committee, and a Des Moines-based law firm represents the city. The hearing is scheduled for August.

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