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Man Settles For $12.9 Million In Michigan Jail Beating

May 16, 2018 - 8:26 am
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FLINT (WWJ/AP) - A man who was a victim of excessive force by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies has settled a federal lawsuit for $12.9 million.

William Jennings, arrested in 2010 for drunken driving, accused jail officers of throwing him to the floor, slamming his head on a metal bench, and kicking and punching him while he was restrained face-down on the ground. The lawsuit also had deputies spraying pepper spray in his mouth and face at close range and placing him in restraint chair with a hood over his head. He was restrained for more than two hours.

Jail video showed officers acting aggressively after Jennings lowered his hand during a search. He suffered an eye injury, a torn rotator cuff, broken facial bones along with a chipped tooth and nerve damage.

A jury had initially awarded Jennings $36.6 million in damages before a judge ruled the evidence didn't support that amount, instead recommending a $11 million payout. Jennings declined that payout and was planning on a second trial before accepting the settlement. 

Details of the settlement were published by The Flint Journal, which obtained court documents through the Freedom of Information Act.