NJ county reaches $10M settlement with Black man left paralyzed after 2014 police encounter

Xavier Ingram is a quadriplegic getting round-the-clock nursing home care eight years after alleged excessive force by Camden County police.

A Black New Jersey man who was left paralyzed after an encounter with police eight years ago has reached a $10 million dollar settlement with Camden County, its largest-ever payout for police brutality. 

As reported by CNN, Xavier Ingram, 29, was 20 years old in 2014 when he claims three Camden County police officers severely injured him after a foot pursuit and then failed to provide adequate medical assistance after his legs went completely numb. Ingram is now a quadriplegic who gets round-the-clock nursing home care, according to Tap Into Camden

Xavier Ingram, 29, who gets round-the-clock care since being left paralyzed after a 2014 encounter with police, has reached a $10 million dollar settlement with Camden County, its largest-ever payout for police brutality. (Photo: Screenshot/6abc.com)

Ingram’s lawsuit listed as defendants Camden County, the Camden County Police Department, then-Assistant Chief of Police Orlando Cuevas, then-Police Chief John Scott Thomson, as well as Camden County Police officers Nicholas Marchiafava, Antonio Gennetta and Jeremy Merck. The month-long trial in the civil case ended in March — when a jury deadlocked on whether the officers were responsible for Ingram’s injuries — but last week, the parties reached a record-breaking $10 million dollar settlement ahead of a new trial. 

According to Ingram’s federal lawsuit, his run-in with the officers on a rainy night in June 2014 occurred as he was exiting a liquor store accompanied by someone when Marchiafava and Gennetta advanced toward him. After he ran with the officers in pursuit, his suit says, he laid down on the wet street to surrender, arms spread in front of him, then the pair “jumped on Ingram and handcuffed him,” and Merck arrived at the arrest scene.

The three Camden County law enforcers then “viciously beat him,” Ingram alleged in his lawsuit, and one “placed his boot on the back of Ingram’s neck and intentionally stepped down forcefully,” making him cry out in pain, to no avail. Ingram’s lawsuit also claims the officers violated their emergency medical training by observing his state yet still forcefully moving him and failing to stabilize his spine. The experience rendered the father of four completely paralyzed.

Injuries to multiple areas of Ingram’s cervical spine were reported by Cooper University Medical Center as sustained during an assault, but Camden County prosecutors maintained that Ingram’s injuries were caused after he “slipped and fell on a wet road” in “an attempt to elude police,” said CNN.

The network confirmed that on June 13, 2014, the day after Ingram and authorities crossed paths, in a post on its website, Camden County Police noted the following statement by Thomson: “The arresting officers displayed composure throughout the incident and had the presence of mind to immediately render aid and summon medical assistance.”

The officers also alleged that Ingram was in possession of heroin and a handgun at the time he was detained, but those criminal charges were dropped two weeks after the March mistrial; in it, compelling evidence was presented that the drugs and weapon were planted.

According to the Tap Into Camden report, the settlement must be now approved by U.S. District Chief Judge Juan Sanchez, who presided over Ingram’s civil case. 

Camden County officials are reportedly “in complete disagreement” over the settlement, with spokesman Dan Keashen insisting that “the insurance carrier (is) making a business decision and forcing the hand of Camden County.”

“We will be settling the case with Mr. Ingram, (but) we do not believe this is the right decision,” said Keashen. The county “maintain(s) no wrongdoing took place. It is not liable for any of the actions and circumstances.”

Merck is no longer with the Camden County Police force, notes TapInto.net, but Marchiafava and Gennetta are still wearing county cop badges. 

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