Anchorage, AK Settles Police Brutality Suit

The Anchorage Press reports, “The city has agreed to pay $60,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who claims Anchorage Police Department officers harassed and then assaulted him during a September 2010 altercation downtown. The city has also agreed, as part of the settlement, to provide training for all APD patrol officers in ‘verbal communication and de-escalation’ and to certify to a federal judge the training is complete by the end of this year.”

The Press adds, “City Attorney Dennis Wheeler sent a brief statement by email confirming the settlement. Wheeler wrote that both sides gave ground during the settlement meetings. He confirmed that the city agreed to pay Anchorage resident Matt Newman a settlement of $60,000. Wheeler also wrote that Newman initially claimed $450,000 in damages.”

As demonstrated by the Anchorage case, in addition to monetary resolution, excessive force litigation can produce meaningful change in policies, procedures and training provided to local police departments.   Training settlements benefit the community as a whole and generally result in a more professional police department.  Additional training does not generally impose a substantial financial burden on a department, which makes these types of settlements beneficial to the department as well.

If you have questions about excessive force, police misconduct or police brutality, contact the experienced and local attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, (918) 935-2777.