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City to pay $55K to man who suffered broken jaw during arrest

Baltimore man to get $55K after suffering broken jaw during arrest

Baltimore's spending panel is set to approve Wednesday a $55,000 settlement with a 25-year-old man who suffered a broken jaw during an altercation with police in 2013.

The payment would settle Jon Black-Thaxton's lawsuit filed in March that alleged assault, battery and gross negligence on the part of Baltimore Officer Damond Durant.

Black-Thaxton's suit concerns the events of Sept. 9, 2013, when Durant and another officer responded to Black-Thaxton's residence on Carroll Street because his girlfriend called police alleging he assaulted her, according to settlement documents presented to Baltimore's Board of Estimates.

As the officers attempted to arrest Black-Thaxton, an altercation ensued, the documents state. City officials say the facts of what happened during the altercation are in dispute.

Black-Thaxton went to Maryland General Hospital after the incident and was diagnosed with a broken jaw.

City officials wrote they decided to settle the suit because of "conflicting factual issues, lack of independent witnesses, and objective injuries suffered" by Black-Thaxton.

Baltimore has paid millions to resolve lawsuits against its nearly 3,000-officer Police Department in recent years. A Baltimore Sun investigation found that since 2011, the city paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 civil suits alleging police brutality and other misconduct.

Nearly all of the people involved in incidents leading to those lawsuits were cleared of criminal charges.

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