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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

City of Chicago to Pay $4.9 Million to Family of Black Man Tasered and Dragged By Police

Phillip Coleman

Phillip Coleman was tasered and beaten by police, and eventually died while being dragged from his prison cell.

Chicago, IL — The city of Chicago has reached a settlement with the family of Philip Coleman for nearly $5 million. Back in 2012, 38-year old Coleman, who is African American, was arrested for domestic batter against his mother. After refusing to go to court the next morning, he was tasered 13 times, struck repeatedly with a baton, and dragged down a hallway (while in handcuffs) by several white police officers from his prison cell. He later died at a hospital.

The entire encounter was caught on video tape, and according to The Chicago Tribune, Coleman died from a reaction to an antipsychotic drug that he apparently had been injected with. The autopsy also revealed that he had severe bruises and abrasions on his body.

Coleman’s family admits that he had a mental issues, but a federal judge ruled in December that at least two officers (who were Black) could have intervened when the white officers decided to drag Coleman from his cell. He ruled that they too are liable for his death because they could have stopped the actions.

In response, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced reforms in January to address how police and other emergency workers respond to the mentally ill.

But both Emanuel and the entire Chicago Police Department have been under national scrutiny since protests erupted last year after the release of a video showing the November 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year old black teenager who was shot 16 times. The officer that killed him, Jason Van Dyke, who is white, has been charged with murder, and Emanuel has apologized for the slaying.

Regarding Coleman’s lawsuit victor, the city’s law department has declined to comment.

Watch the video of what happened: