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Michigan Teenager Who Alleged Police Brutality Settles Lawsuit for $7.5k

— April 26, 2022

The teenager, who ran from the police and then refused to sit inside a cruiser once handcuffed, sued the city after officers repeatedly hit her leg to force her inside a police car.

A Michigan teenager who accused the Lansing Police Department of violating her civil rights has reached a settlement with the city.

According to The Lansing State Journal, DeShaya Reed was 16 years old when a Lansing police officer struck her leg an estimated 17 times when she resisted being put into a police cruiser.

Bystander footage of the incident shows Reed, handcuffed, extending her leg outside the car to prevent it from closing.

Reed was also seen kicking the cruiser’s door.

However, Reed has now managed to settle a lawsuit with the city. As part of the agreement, Reed will receive $7,500 in damages but will not be permitted to file any further claims related to the incident.

Reed’s attorney, Liz Abdnour, told the Lansing State Journal that her client is “moving forward.”

“Ms. Reed is moving forward with her life and hopes that telling her story publicly helps keep other Black children safe from harm from LPD officers in the future,” Abdnour told the Journal in a text message.

The Michigan state capitol building in Lansing. Image via San906/Wikimedia Commons. (CCA-BY-1.0)

Lansing spokesperson Scott Bean wrote a separate email to the L.S.J., in which called the incident “very unfortunate” and said that city officials are pleased they were able to reach an agreement with Reed.

WKAR notes that officers had tried to take Reed into custody because the teenage girl was “on the run” for failing to attend mandated classes at the Ingham County Youth Academy.

Reed says that, when officers confronted, she tried to run.

During the brief chase, she tripped and fell on the ground; officers then carried her to a patrol car.

Reed says that she only tried to prevent the cruiser door from closing because she was worried that her mother would not know where she was taken.

She later told the State Journal that she felt frightened, as Lansing Police officers had treated her “like an animal, like I was a grown man.”

“They should not have been so aggressive with me and they should have handled me like a child,” the 16-year-old said. “People kept saying I was just a bad kid and that’s why the police did what they did to me […] I was not a bad kid.”

Abdnour says that Reed admitted she erred by running, but said that officers should have tried to de-escalate the situation instead of immediately resorting to violence.

The two officers named as defendants in the lawsuit were subject to limited disciplinary action: one was suspended for three days, while the other received a written reprimand and had his new-officer probationary period extended by six months.


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