Seattle to pay $1.75M to settle police excessive-force lawsuit


Mike Carter
The Seattle Times
August 9, 2013

The City of Seattle will pay $1.75 million to settle a federal civil-rights lawsuit filed by the father of a mentally ill man who suffered severe brain damage when he was held down, choking on blood and vomit, after being handcuffed and gagged by Seattle police, according to the man’s lawyers.

The Seattle City Attorney’s Office confirmed the settlement this afternoon.

The settlement may be among the largest excessive-force settlements ever paid by the city. The city paid $1.5 million to settle with the family of John T. Williams, who was fatally shot by a police officer in August 2010.

The recent settlement arose from the May 2010 arrrest of Brian Scott Torgerson, a schizophrenic man who was was having a mental-health crisis when his parents called police to try to get him some help. Officers who responded to his Capitol Hill apartment decided to arrest Torgerson on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant.

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