Sussex County Man Settles Lawsuit Against City of Seaford and Po - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Man Settles Lawsuit Against City of Seaford and Police Department

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SEAFORD, Md- A Sussex County man involved in a police related taser incident in Seaford has settled a lawsuit for $270,000. That's according to his attorney based in Dagsboro.

The incident happened back in 2011.

Stephen Norman who is the attorney for Reginald Johnson said Seaford police used "unnecessary force" during a traffic stop on the night of Johnson's 43rd birthday.

The officers believed Johnson was someone else and as police video shows, Johnson was tased and handcuffed by police. 

Johnson filed a federal lawsuit against Seaford claiming he was brutally assaulted by the involved police officers.

"Throughout the state of Delaware instances like this, like the one with Mr. Johnson happen frequently, but most of them aren't caught on video," Norman said.

Norman added that Johnson's lawsuit against Seaford was justified.

"I believe it states that Seaford realized they were accountable here and that the actions of their officers on Mr. Johnson's birthday were in clear violation of the law," he said.

William Hall who is a defense attorney in Salisbury said that cases involving police brutality resulting in settlements for the victim set a precedent for future cases.

"Of course it's the tax payers money that goes towards the settlements," Hall said, "and most local agencies and government are covered by insurance but if you get sued then the rates go up and that's also an increase to taxpayers."

Hall said that anytime there is use of force, there's almost always a chance there will be a lawsuit afterwards.

But Norman said that officers in Maryland and Delaware need to understand that they will be held accountable if they violate a person's constitutional rights.

WBOC reached out to the police department for a statement regarding the settlement but were told to instead contact the city solicitor. However, our calls to the city solicitor were not returned on Thursday. 
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