Council Settles With Arrested Man’s Family
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — The Lake Charles City Council has approved payment of $125,000 to the family of a man who died after being arrested in 2007.
The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/qjfACs) a civil case had been filed by the family of Seldon Deshotels, who died after being stunned by Calcasieu Parish sheriff's deputies investigating a burglary report.
City Councilman Mark Eckard cast the only vote against the settlement.
"He didn't have to break into this place, he didn't have to run and he didn't have to resist. And at any time he could have stopped any of those things, and therefore I don't like to reward bad behavior with a settlement and a lawsuit because that is taxpayer dollars and comes out of the general fund," Eckard said.
Instead of going to trial, the city and Sheriff 's Office agreed to each pay $125,000 to Deshotel's family.
Other council members, who voted for the settlement, agreed with Eckard in principle.
But City Councilman Stuart Weatherford said the decision makes good businesses sense.
"I still think we all agree we prefer not to make this settlement, but it's really the prudent thing to do. We were potentially exposing ourselves to pretty significant risks, and this takes all of the risk out of it and we pay this claim, settle it and move on and move forward," he said.
Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com