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Friday, April 23, 2021

Black Man Shot and Paralyzed by Iowa Police Officer to Get $8M Settlement

Jerime Mitchell, Black man from Iowa paralyzed by police

Nationwide — Jerime Mitchell, an unarmed Black man from Iowa who was left paralyzed after being shot by a Cedar Rapids police officer during a traffic stop in 2016, will receive an $8 million settlement. However, Mitchell says that no amount of money can replace his life before the incident.

“It doesn’t matter how much money I get,” he told KCRG. “It will never replace. I would love to have my arms and legs again.”

Four years ago, former police officer Lucas Jones pulled over Mitchell, claiming his car’s license plate light was not working. A struggle ensued when Jones allegedly smelled marijuana and asked Mitchell to get out, pushing him to the ground to try to handcuff him.

Mitchell was able to get in his truck and drive away but Jones, who clung to the moving truck, fired three times, hitting Mitchell once in the neck. Mitchell was immediately paralyzed at the scene, unable to control his car. He ultimately crashed into a police SUV driven by the city’s deputy police chief, who suffered minor injuries.

Mitchell filed a lawsuit against the police officer. A grand jury declined to charge Jones, saying he was legally justified in shooting Mitchel and he was just defending himself.

Several activists, along with Mitchell, have since been calling for Jones to be fired. Jones was eventually fired last June but it was for violations not connected to the shooting that paralyzed Mitchell.

A trial had been scheduled again to begin earlier this week but was canceled after the city’s insurer, States Insurance, “determined settlement to be in the best interests of its insured, the city,” a city spokesperson said in a statement.

The $8 million settlement money will help Mitchell get more advanced medical treatments, such as stem cell programs, that he did not have access to before.

“I will give back that money or any amount of money to have my normal life,” Mitchell said.