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Nevada Highway Patrol, city settle federal lawsuit in 2010 motorist beating
LAS VEGAS (AP) ' A diabetic motorist and his wife have agreed to accept $292,500 from Henderson police and the state of Nevada to settle a federal civil rights, battery and negligence lawsuit stemming from his videotaped beating during a 2010 traffic stop.
"The video is disturbing to watch," said Adam Greene, who doesn't remember the beating by Henderson police and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers who thought he was driving under the influence.
"It's kind of surreal to watch yourself go through that," he said in an interview. "In this case, I think they let it get out of control and they acted inappropriately."
Greene, 38, a retail manager who was on the way to work at the time, was left with broken ribs, cuts and bruises after police and Highway Patrol troopers stopped him at 4 a.m. with guns drawn then realized his erratic driving was caused by diabetic shock, not intoxication.
"Police need to follow their training to recognize when someone is having a diabetic episode," said Greene's lawyer, Todd Moody, "You can't assume someone is under the influence."
The Henderson City Council approved a $158,500 settlement Tuesday with Greene. His wife, Brittany Greene, 33, received another $99,000, and the state agreed to pay $35,000.
Greene said he usually supports police and doesn't bear a grudge toward the officers.
Neither the police department nor the Highway Patrol admitted wrongdoing as part of the settlement, Moody said. The lawsuit was filed last September in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.
A sergeant involved in the incident was disciplined, and police training and use-of-force policies were modified following an internal investigation, Police Chief Jutta Chambers said in a statement. Police did not identify the officer or specify his punishment.
Chambers characterized the incident as a catalyst for improvement in her department, which she said has cut use of force incidents by about 30 percent, from 567 in 2010 to 396 in 2011.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported the settlement on Tuesday.
A Highway Patrol dashboard video shows a trooper approaching Greene's car, gun drawn, and kicking the driver's window before opening the door. At least six other officers enter the scene as Greene is pulled from the car and wrestled face-first to the ground near the busy Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway crossroads.
"Do not resist (expletive)!" someone says, as a Henderson police officer approaches and kicks the prone man several times.
As the officers summon an ambulance, they search Greene and find insulin in his pocket. An officer is recorded saying Greene is semi-conscious, diabetic and probably in shock.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com