(AP) — Rockford city officials have agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a man’s lawsuit accusing a city police officer of excessive force during a 2017 burglary arrest.
Antonio Lamont Williams’ federal lawsuit alleges that a Rockford officer beat him outside his mother’s home after a nearby tavern was burglarized, the Rockford Register Star reported.
Williams, 48, said the officer threw him to the ground in July 2017 and began punching him after he tried to leave the area to prevent police from finding drug paraphernalia he had with him.
Police said Williams was resisting arrest but he alleged that he was “shielding and protecting” his face and head from punches.
The officer said in court filings that he and Williams both slipped and fell to the ground, that Williams ignored his commands and resisted handcuffs. The officers said he hit and punched Williams five times before using a stun gun on him to no effect, and then successfully subdued and arrested Williams after punching him three more times.
Williams was convicted of burglary, but charges of aggravated battery to a police officer and resisting arrest were dropped. He remains in prison on a six-year sentence in an unrelated case.
While the Rockford City Council agreed Monday to a $50,000 payment to settle William’s suit, city legal director Nicholas Meyer said neither the city or the officer were admitting to any wrongdoing.
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