Case of man's death in custody is settled

February 10, 2007|By Annie Linskey

Lawyers for two city police officers and one former city officer have settled a civil lawsuit filed by the family of a man who died in police custody.

Shawn Long and his mother, Delena Long, were awarded $100,000 this week, according to Michael Greene, the lawyer for the family.

The family alleged that the officers improperly arrested and transported two men in a 2003 incident. One of the men, Homer Long, had a heart attack while in the police wagon and died.

A city jury returned a partial verdict after deliberating for two days. Rather than hearing the jury's decision, the parties agreed to settle.

"Neither the defense or the plaintiffs wanted a partial verdict. It would have been a mess. We settled the case," said Greene.

Greene contended that Shawn Long was improperly arrested by a police officer and that Shawn's uncle, Homer Long, was also arrested improperly when he tried to intervene.

Homer Long died while he was being taken to the Central Booking and Intake Center.

Davis Owens, the lawyer for Officers David J. Maynard Jr. and Charles B. Bryant Jr., and Cheryl J. Williams - who has left the force - did not return a phone call.

He had argued that the officers acted properly and that Shawn Long behaved belligerently toward police before his arrest, and that Homer Long also behaved in a disorderly fashion.

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