The Baltimore City Board of Estimates is set to approve Wednesday a $135,000 settlement with a man who was hit with a stun gun and forced to the ground by police who intervened after a bouncer put him in a chokehold.
Jamar Kennedy filed suit in 2015 seeking $5 million for his injuries as well as the costs of defending himself against charges of assault and resisting arrest, which were eventually dropped.
Kennedy was among patrons leaving Melba’s Nightclub on Sept. 23, 2014 when he went back for a hoodie he left behind and was “approached aggressively” by the bouncer, according to the complaint, filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The bouncer allegedly ordered Kennedy to leave but a second employee overheard his explanation and went to get the hoodie. The bouncer then put Kennedy in a chokehold when he moved to take the hoodie.
Police were in the area to assist with crowd control outside the club and an officer saw Kennedy struggling with the bouncer and intervened, according to a memorandum about the settlement prepared for the city spending panel. Officers used a Taser on Kennedy, which he claimed triggered an asthma attack.
Kennedy alleged he was surrounded and beaten by several officers who ignored his requests for his inhaler, and he was hospitalized to treat injuries to his head, arms, legs and back. He was arrested several hours later at the hospital and taken, in hospital scrubs, to Central Booking and Intake, where he remained for hours, according to the complaint.
Kennedy was charged with assault, resisting arrest and endangering the safety of others while intoxicated, according to electronic court files. The charges were dropped in January 2015.
The lawsuit alleges assault, battery, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and violations of the Maryland Declaration of Rights.
The city’s law department recommended settlement “(because) of conflicting factual issues and considering the uncertainty of how a jury might view the circumstances.”
Kennedy is represented by Derrick G. Hamlin, a Baltimore solo practitioner. Hamlin did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
The case is Jamar Kennedy v. Baltimore City Police Officer Scott Armstrong et al., 24C15001366.