The city has paid $70,000 to a Staten Island resident after he filed a suit alleging the NYPD allowed footage of him being beaten by officers to be erased.
The SI Advance reports that 22-year-old Keashon Gillam filed a federal lawsuit stemming from an October 2011 incident in which he was allegedly brutally beaten outside the Stapleton Houses in the borough. The incident, which the suit says left Gillam with a concussion and medical staples in his head, was reportedly caught on an NYPD "VIPER" camera—however, Gillam claimed that the NYPD failed to follow procedure and flag the footage of the beating, allowing it to be erased after seven days.
According to the suit, the then 18-year-old Gillam was standing outside with his cousin that day when he was approached by police officers. He claimed he tried to walk away from the cops when they called after him, but officers then kicked him to the ground and bashed him in the head with a police radio after they cuffed him. "Me and my cousin, we're going home, we're not doing nothing, so we didn't think they were talking to us," he told the Advance, noting that he had a small amount of marijuana on him at the time. An officer, Daniel Magee, witnessed the incident on surveillance camera.
Per the suit:
Although it was procedure to do so, Magee should have prepared an incident report to flag the video of the incident, which was caught on camera. He purposely did not to protect [the arresting officer] and his brethren from being charged with excessive force.
Earlier this year, Gillam, who says a cop also called him a racial slur, was acquitted of resisting arrest stemming from that incident. The federal suit was dismissed in court yesterday, and Gillam was awarded the $70K settlement, which is more than double the average the city pays for NYPD-related civilian suits.