Civil Rights Lawsuit Settled In Coldwater
Thursday, October 10, 2019

A federal civil rights lawsuit that has been in the court system almost two years was finally settled.

The website Pacer Monitor dot com reports that Judge Robert J. Jonker of the
Michigan Western District Court signed an order last week that set a deadline of
November 1 for closing documents and settlement documents to be filed. The lawsuit was brought by former Coldwater resident Tiffany McNeil in December 2017 from an incident that happened in July of that year.

In the complaint filed by McNeil's attorney Solomon Radner, the Coldwater
Police were called to McNeil's house at 189 West Chicago Street on July 24. McNeil had been drinking when her husband returned home after being gone for two weeks and the couple got into an argument, which turned into a fight. Officers arrived and took McNeil into custody.

According to the complaint, while at the Branch County Jail, Coldwater Police
Officer Lewis Eastmead pinned McNeil against the wall and handcuffed her. It was
also alleged that Eastmead grabbed McNeil by the hair, spun her around and slammed her to the ground face first. McNeil was knocked unconscious and bloodied in the incident.

The incident was videotaped by cameras in the Sheriff's Department. The video
went viral and was broadcast all over the world. In her lawsuit, McNeil charged excessive force and a violation of her civil rights. She was demanding $75,000 in damages.

Less than a month after the suit was filed, Eastmead left the Coldwater Police.
Terms of the settlement were not announced.


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