City of Mesa to settle suit alleging officers broke man’s wrist
PHOENIX (AP) — The city of Mesa has agreed to settle an excessive force lawsuit that alleges police officers broke a man’s wrist two years ago during his arrest on misdemeanor warrants and ignored his repeated requests to loosen the handcuffs.
The dollar amount of the settlement in Terence Kirkpatrick’s lawsuit hasn’t been publicly revealed.
Kirkpatrick’s attorney, Tom Horne, said on Thursday that he was unsure if he could reveal the figure, and Duncan Stoutner, an assistant city attorney for Mesa, didn’t return a call and email seeking comment on the settlement.
Body-camera footage of the November 2017 arrest showed a struggle as officers tried to put handcuffs on Kirkpatrick and he yelled out for officers to ease up. Officers later shackled his hands to his ankles.
The lawsuit, which was settled on Feb. 12, said officers ignored 15 requests from Kirkpatrick to loosen the cuffs.
Kirkpatrick told an officer, “I’m not trying to get away.” An officer replied, “Stay right there. I don’t care.” When he complained that his wrist hurt, an officer replied, “It’s supposed to.”
In court papers, the city denied the allegations that officers used excessive force and broke Kirkpatrick’s wrist. Officers say Kirkpatrick worsened the situation by not following their commands.
Kirkpatrick later pleaded guilty to a criminal charge stemming from the struggle.
The city said in court papers that officers were called to an apartment in Mesa on a report of Kirkpatrick and another man being involved a dispute.
Once officers concluded the call, they told Kirkpatrick that he was under arrest for misdemeanor warrants. Kirkpatrick was accused of failing to appear in municipal courts in Mesa and the city of Maricopa on traffic violations, according to records.
As Kirkpatrick lay on the sofa in the apartment, officers told him to stand up. He declined.
A struggle between Kirkpatrick and the officers began after officers pulled him off the sofa and onto the floor. “I’m not doing anything,” Kirkpatrick said. Moments later, an officer profanely told Kirkpatrick to give officers his hands.
Kirkpatrick was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer and two counts of resisting arrest stemming from the struggle.
But he pleaded guilty to a felony resisting arrest charge and was sentenced to probation. The conviction was later downgraded to a misdemeanor.