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City officials comment on today’s settlement in David Smith case

May 24, 2013 (MINNEAPOLIS) Below are comments from Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal and Police Chief Janeé Harteau on the settlement approved by the City Council today in the David Smith case:

Comments from City Attorney Susan Segal

The unfortunate reality is that in any situation where force is required, there can be tragic results. It is always hard on everyone involved when a life is lost.

While it was a tragic situation, the City fully and aggressively defended this case, as we do with all lawsuits against the City. This case has been heavily litigated and, while this case was handled in-house by the City Attorney's Office, the number of hours invested by the City and legal fees incurred to date by  the plaintiff's lawyers are substantial. Police cases are different from most lawsuits because the City is required to pay the plaintiff's legal fees and costs in the event there is any ruling against the City at trial, no matter the amount. As a result, today's settlement is a responsible way to bring this to a close in the face of mounting legal costs that would continue to grow significantly through a trial. 

Comments from Police Chief Janeé Harteau

This was a tragic and traumatic situation for the family of Mr. Smith and the officers involved. I want to convey my deep sympathy for his family, who I am sure, still grieves his loss.

This instance is an example of the kinds of volatile and challenging situations our officers find themselves in every day. Police were called because staff were concerned for the safety of the children at the YMCA, and our officers responded. The unfortunate reality is that in any situation where police must restrain someone, there can be unintended results.

These two officers have been upstanding examples of cops who do their jobs with professionalism, and I know this has been very hard on them and their families. This settlement allows the family and these officers to move forward.

 

Published May. 24, 2013