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Syracuse to Settle Police Brutality Lawsuits for $400,000

Two police brutality lawsuits in Syracuse, New York, are expected to be settled for a total of $400,000.

Paperwork was completed with the Syracuse city clerk during the week of November 9, and the settlements will be voted upon at a meeting on November 23 2020. The cases in question are both against Office Vallon Smith.

Activist Maurice Crawley was involved in a forceful arrest by Officer Smith in 2016. Crawley claims that Smith took him to the ground and punched him in the head, according to Crawley was initially charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, though these charges were later dropped. Crawley faced a $120 fine and a ticket.

The second incident occurred in 2017 when teenager Jabari Boykins was arrested at his high school. Boykins was 14 at the time and was arrested on charges of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. Boykins’ arm was broken in the incident when Smith threw the teenager to the ground. Smith was cleared of wrongdoing by District Attorney Fitzpatrick, but Smith was removed from the school by the superintendent.

Lawsuits for both Crawley and Boykins were filed by attorneys Jesse Ryder and Charles Bonner. The total settlement is expected to be $400,000 divided evenly among the two victims.

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