CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of a 21-year-old man who died of a drug overdose while in police custody in 2017 will receive $500,000 from the city, under a settlement agreement approved by the City Council Finance Committee on Thursday.
Officers handcuffed Romello Palmer while he was unconscious in a Lawndale alley on Sept. 4, 2017, according to a lawsuit filed by his mother, Jaywana Palmer.
According to the lawsuit, even though the officers who detained Moranz and another man could see he was unable to respond to their commands, they did not immediately call for medical attention, and it wasn’t until 20 minutes later that paramedics arrived.
First Assistant Corporation Counsel Renai Rodney said the officers later provided statements confirming they were aware Palmer was in distress.
“The body worn camera videos of this incident do not reflect well upon the officers. From the minute that the first two officers arrived on the scene, it is apparent that Palmer was drifting in and out of consciousness, and in need of medical attention,” she said.
Rodney said, had the case gone to trial, the city expected the Palmer family’s attorneys to call an expert witness who would have testified that, had the officers called paramedics right away, they could have saved his life.
According to the lawsuit, Palmer never regained consciousness after police handcuffed him. He was pronounced dead about an hour later.
The settlement agreement must be approved by the full City Council.