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Prince George’s County discloses amount of excessive-force settlement

Prince George’s County paid $55,000 to a Hyattsville man who claimed he was beaten by three county police officers, according to documents obtained under the Maryland Public Information Act.

The settlement with Cody Denard Beasley was reported Nov. 28, but the county declined to give the amount at the time. The Daily Record then filed an MPIA request and the county’s response, dated Jan. 6, was received by mail last week.

As reported, Beasley had sued the county for $20 million, claiming he suffered permanent nerve damage and has lost feeling in his right thumb after the officers threw him against a car’s hood several times, pushed him onto a sidewalk and pressed his hand down against concrete after receiving a distress call from his wife on Oct. 21, 2008.

According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Beasley left the house in a huff after an argument with his wife. He returned later that day after realizing he had left his phone.

In the interim, Eresa Beasley had called the police, erroneously claiming she had been assaulted, Beasley said.

When he arrived home, Beasley was met by the three officers, who told him to place his hands over his head and then handcuffed him. Beasley alleged he offered no resistance but the officers threw him against the hood and pushed him onto the sidewalk, where one officer stepped on the handcuffs. He claimed this resulted in nerve damage to his hand.

After the arrest, Beasley was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton for treatment and released from custody, the complaint stated.

The county denied any liability in agreeing to the November settlement, which, in the words of the settlement document, was reached “as a compromise to avoid the expense” of litigation.