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Talks stall in lawsuit over Minneapolis man's death

  • Article by: randy furst
  • April 7, 2012 - 10:00 PM

A lawsuit over the death of a mentally ill Minneapolis man who was subdued by two Minneapolis officers at the downtown YMCA in 2010 appears headed to a jury trial after settlement talks failed last week.

Robert Bennett, the attorney representing the family of David Cornelius Smith, said settlement talks broke off Wednesday over how much the city would pay.

Bennett said: "They don't value human life very highly, especially, the life of a mentally ill African-American."

Barb Johnson, the City Council president, confirmed the case was headed for trial.

Smith, 28, was acting bizarrely on Sept. 9, 2010, when he was confronted by two Minneapolis officers who had been called to remove him.

The officers held Smith face down on the floor. He stopped breathing, and though he was revived by paramedics, he died a week later.

The lawsuit contends that by putting Smith in a prone position, he was unable to breathe. The medical examiner ruled it a homicide.

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