On Wednesday, September 9, Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick approved a $3 million settlement surrounding the death of Shaheen Mackey.
On June 6, 2018, Shaheen Mackey was serving a sentence at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was forcibly restrained by officers and passed away two days later.
Video evidence showed the struggle between Mackey and the officers and revealed that Mackey was repeatedly Tasered and pinned down by multiple personnel.
Mackey’s family filed a civil rights suit against Luzerne County, stating that Mackey had suffered a seizure that cause offers to incorrectly assume he was under the influence of drugs.
This case has seen three proposals for further investigation, but all three have failed.
The first proposal asked District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis to request that the state attorney general’s office hold an investigation of Mackey’s death and its surrounding circumstances.
The next proposal suggested the formation of an investigation committee comprised of the county controller, three citizens, and three council members, who would have reviews protocols and procedures at the jail.
The third proposal, which failed because no council member moved to adopt it, asked to hire national law firm Troutman Pepper to conduct a review of the jail independently.
Under the recently approved settlement, each of Mackey’s eight children will receive approximately $213,000. Additionally, Mackey’s sister will receive $68,000 since she has been administering the estate. The Dyller law firm, who has been representing Mackey’s family, will receive $1.2 million in legal fees.
According to The Citizens’ Voice, family members have expressed mixed reactions to the settlement, with some stating the settlement was not large enough for the trauma that has been endured and others believing this step is still a “work in progress” in a larger societal issue.