City of Maquoketa to pay $4.5M settlement in arrest death
MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — The city of Maquoketa and Jackson County in eastern Iowa will pay $4.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a man killed during his arrest last year.
An attorney for the family of 22-year-old Drew Edwards said in a news release Wednesday that the payment will settle a lawsuit alleging civil rights violations and excessive police force against Edwards.
Edwards died on June 15, 2019, after being shocked a dozen times with a stun gun and suffocated as a Maquoketa police officer and a Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy sat on his head, neck and body for over 10 minutes, according to police body camera footage and reports gathered by the family. The officers had been trying to arrest Edwards for simple assault following a domestic dispute.
“When we saw how Drew had been tased over and over and how he died with officers kneeling and sitting on him ... for many reasons it was clear Drew’s rights had been violated,” said Dave O’Brien, the family’s attorney.
A phone message left Thursday with Maquoketa City Manager Gerald Smith wasn’t immediately returned. Steve Schroeder, chief deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, said he couldn’t comment because the matter was still in litigation.
Police said an autopsy showed Edwards had methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana in his system when he died.
The officers involved were later cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in Edwards’ death.