Thursday, August 30, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
During a regular meeting on Aug. 21, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a $32,500 settlement agreement in connection to an excessive force lawsuit filed in federal court in 2014 against two Maywood police officers. The lawsuit lists the officers and the village of Maywood as plaintiffs.
Deon Duff, who lived in Berkeley at the time, filed the lawsuit in November 2014. In the lawsuit, Duff alleges that on Feb. 9, 2014, he was beaten by Maywood Police Officer Patrick Reilly and Maywood Police Sgt. Patrick Grandberry after being pursued and handcuffed.
The incident happened the side yard of 117 S. 12th Ave. in Maywood. In the lawsuit, Duff claimed that after being chased by police, he “stopped running in heavy snow and stood in the side yard,” “waiting to be taken into custody.”
“Instead of taking [Duff] into custody,” according to the lawsuit, Grandberry pushed the suspect “up against the side of the house at 117 S. 12th Ave.” while Ofc. Reilly grabbed Duff. Together, the police officers “slammed” Duff to the ground.
Grandberry allegedly “put his knee on” Duff’s neck “with all of his weight” while Reilly “placed his knee” in Duff’s back “with all of his weight and both officers repeatedly struck” Duff.
Duff “was handcuffed while on the ground and then yanked up and dragged to the street,” where Grandberry allegedly pushed him against Reily’s undercover car. Grandberry then “slammed” Duff’s head against the car “multiple times” before Reilly, “who had gotten in the car, pulled away while” Duff was “splayed against the car, causing him to fall.”
Duff was then taken to the Maywood Police Station for processing. At the station, according to the lawsuit, Grandberry allegedly threw Duff to the floor while he was handcuffed and, along with Reilly, beat the suspect while he was on the ground.
“During the continued beating [Duff] heard [Reilly] yell to ‘turn the camera off,'” according to the lawsuit. “Plaintiff was not resisting arrest at any time in the Maywood Police Station.”
Nine hours after the alleged beating, Duff was taken to Westlake Hospital’s emergency room, where he was “diagnosed with a traumatic [AC joint separation] and facial lacerations.” The lawsuit states that Duff had “undergone extensive medical treatment for his injuries since.”
Duff contended that the Maywood Police Department’s official use-of-force policy governing the use of non-deadly force was “the ‘moving force’ behind the violation of his” rights.
Duff’s lawsuit included one count of excessive force each against Grandberry and Reilly, and requested that the village pay for any compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs.
The conditions of the settlement, which is not an admission of guilt on the part of the plaintiffs, were not disclosed during the Aug. 21 meeting, where trustees approved the measure as part of a consent agenda. VFP
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