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Family accepts $86K settlement in students arrest lawsuit
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A family that sued after the arrests of three children at a Tennessee elementary school accepted a settlement totaling $86,500 from local governments, according to paperwork filed in federal court.
Zacchaeus and Lavonia Crawford sued after their children were arrested in April 2016 following an off-campus bullying incident. The arrests of the African-American children at Hobgood Elementary School in Murfreesboro — some hauled off in handcuffs — drew outrage.
"All plaintiff children suffered great mental anguish and emotional trauma as a result of the false arrest and malicious prosecution as instigated and directed by defendants," the lawsuit filed Feb. 16, 2017 stated.
The charges against the children were dismissed in June 2016.
The Daily News Journal reports the Murfreesboro government will pay a total of $85,000, including $27,000 for the plaintiff's attorney. Rutherford County pays $1,500.
Officials did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement.
"The city has denied and continues to deny any liability for any alleged unconstitutional acts and denies releasing parties' entitlement to any relief, and states that under no circumstances shall this agreement be constructed as an admission of liability under any local, state or federal laws," the settlement agreement states.
The lawsuit also named four Murfreesboro police supervisors, claiming they failed to administer department policy.
The officers involved were reprimanded before the lawsuit was filed.