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Philadelphia has agreed to pay $2 million to a mother who was dragged from her car by police officers and physically assaulted during protests against police violence last year.
“In many law firms, this case would have been over after securing such a historic settlement against the city of Philadelphia,” Rickia Young’s attorney Kevin Mincey told reporters.
The settlement is the largest pre-trial settlement for a police brutality case like this.
Police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. last October. In response, the community took to the streets in protest, where they smashed storefront windows and looted stores. Philadelphia police officers smashed an SUV’s windows and violently yanked Young out of her SUV as well as her 16-year-old nephew. They were both thrown to the ground and beaten and Young was separated from her two-year-old son for several hours.
At the time, her lawyer alleged Young “had a bloody nose, a swollen trachea, blood in her urine, and swelling and pain on her left side. Her son was treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for “a large welt on his head.”
Young was not a part of the protest.
The Fraternal Order of Police later posted a picture on social of a Philadelphia officer holding Young’s two-year-old son, saying that he was: “lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness.”
The post ended by saying, “We are the Thin Blue Line. And WE ARE the only thing standing between Order and Anarchy.”
Officer Darren Kardos and Sgt. David Chisholm were both suspended and later fired in relation to the incident.
Mincey says Young’s son is still suffering from the traumatic incident.
“He’s already audibilized a fear of police. He’s afraid of the dark. Loud noises,” Mincey said. “He’s more easily startled. Those are just examples of some of the things he’s been dealing with since this happened.”
The department said 14 additional officers are awaiting disciplinary hearings for their involvement in the attack.
“The behavior that occurred during the interaction between Rickia Young, her nephew, her son, and some of the officers on the scene violated the mission of the Philadelphia Police Department,” Outlaw said. “As a matter of fact, the ability for officers and supervisors on the scene to diffuse the situation was abandoned, and instead of fighting crime and the fear of crime, some of the officers on the scene created an environment that terrorized Rickia Young, her family, and other members of the public.”