East Cleveland man awarded $50 million in civil lawsuit settlement stemming from violent arrest

East Cleveland man awarded $50 million in civil lawsuit settlement stemming from violent arrest
East Cleveland police cruiser (Source: Facebook)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cuyahoga County jury awarded a $50 million settlement to an East Cleveland man who was violently arrested and mistreated while in custody of East Cleveland police.

Court records show that the ruling for the $50 million settlement was reached on Friday, Aug. 9.

The civil lawsuit, filed with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, stems from the 2012 arrest of Black. He said he was struck multiple times by an East Cleveland officer and then locked in a storage closet for nearly a week.

Black, who was 44 years old when he was arrested in 2012, was stopped without probable cause by two East Cleveland police officers. One of the officers at the time, identified as Randy Hicks, hit Black in the head several times during the search of his vehicle.

An indictment for cocaine possession was sent to Black in connection to the traffic stop, but those charges were eventually dropped because of lack of evidence in the case.

Black testified in court that he was taken to the East Cleveland Police Department and locked inside a storage closet where cleaning supplies were kept for five days. He was not allowed to leave and was force to use the bathroom in the closer. Black said he was not given any food either other than a carton of milk while he was imprisoned.

Hicks admitted to Black’s testimony in court, and said that East Cleveland police officers are ordered within the department to use violence and force on civilians.

It was also alleged that the city of East Cleveland destroyed or altered police footage from the night of Black’s arrest.

The case was highlighted in an episode of the popular podcast “Serial.”

A Cuyahoga County jury previously awarded Black $22 million in 2016, but that ruling was appealed by the city of East Cleveland to the Ohio Supreme Court. The case was then sent back to the county’s Court of Common Pleas for retrial.

Black’s attorney said his client required brain surgery and still suffers trauma as a result of the blows to his head from Hicks.

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