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Board to weigh settlement in Cecil County man’s claims of police beating

A state panel is being asked to approve a settlement for a Cecil County man who said he was the victim of a brutal beating at the hands of three Maryland State Police troopers.

The Board of Public Works is expected Wednesday to take up a proposed $22,000 settlement with David Graham.

Graham, who initially represented himself when he filed the lawsuit in 2018, claimed he was the victim of excessive force while being arrested by two Maryland state troopers during a 2015 arrest.

Collin Wojciechowski, an attorney at Gallagher Evelius & Jones who is representing Graham, did not respond to a request for comment.

Accounts of the arrest by Graham and the troopers differ.

At the time, Graham was identified as the suspect in the burglary of an Elkton market in which lottery tickets were stolen.

Graham said at least one witness identified him as being involved in the burglary. A few days later, police spotted Graham driving a yellow Ford Mustang and a chase ensured.

According to the lawsuit, Graham said when the chase ended he “surrendered and complied with all orders” given by Troopers Michael Cox, Sean Harris and Joshua Justice.

Troopers said they chased the vehicle driven by Graham, which ultimately ended when they deployed a device to rapidly deflate the cars tires. Troopers said they believed Graham was “wanted for several felony warrants” and “always carries a gun.”

Despite flattened tires, Graham continued to attempt to elude the police. The chase ended once troopers surrounded his car with theirs and forced him to stop.

Troopers claimed they removed passengers from the car, including Graham’s girlfriend, young daughter and an unidentified woman, but Graham refused to get out.

Graham said he was “violently yanked” from the car. Once handcuffed, Graham alleged the three held him on the ground, kicked and stomped him in the face and other parts of his body.

They then used stun guns and batons on him, he said.

Graham said he “suffered massive swelling to the left and right sides of his head, face, a broken nose, two swollen and closed black eyes, blood spotting in the whites of both eyes, severed left ear lobe, busted lips, broken tooth” and various cuts and bruises to other parts of his body.

Troopers claimed Graham “actively resisted” and attempted to “put his hands in his front waistband.” All three said they did not possess stun guns at the time of the arrest.

All three troopers denied that force was used against Graham after he was handcuffed.

Graham also alleged that the troopers “falsified documents to provide justification for the assault.”

Graham in his 2018 lawsuit alleged the beating was retaliation for an unrelated hit-and-run involving another trooper, who is not named in the lawsuit.

At the barracks, Graham said, the troopers “celebrated” the beating, saying they “got him” (Graham) for the earlier hit-and-run.