Rickey Burrell settlement: $100K after cops broke his wrist while he was having a seizure
Police are trained to deal with unruly suspects -- but what if the person in question is in the midst of a medical emergency rather than resisting arrest? This question was at the heart of a lawsuit against the City of Aurora filed after cops responding to a call pertaining to Rickey Burrell broke his wrist even though he was already unconscious after suffering a seizure. The lawsuit and details about the $100,000 settlement and more below.
Unfortunately, Burrell died before the settlement was reached, for reasons unrelated to the incident. But his attorney, Mari Newman, believes the case will serve as part of his legacy.
The morning of December 18, 2010, according to the suit, Burrell was feeling poorly after returning to his Aurora home after attending Bible study and a choir rehearsal. He headed to his room to take a nap, but when Evelyn King, his longtime partner, went in to check on him, she discovered that he was incoherent and having a seizure.
King immediately phoned 911, and even though she made it clear Burrell was having a medical crisis, the first people to arrive were a pair of Aurora police officers, Darren Chamberland and Darryl Huntsman, followed by a third cop, Brandon Rinnan.
Prior to the officers' arrival, Burrell had alternated between walking around the room and lying on his stomach on his bed. However, the suit says he was in the latter position when the cops entered the bedroom. He was clad only in his underwear, which was stained with urine (a result of a bladder-control loss caused by the seizure), and appeared to be unconscious.
Nevertheless, one of the three officers allegedly jumped on Burrell's back, placed his knee in the middle of it, and then jerked the man's arm behind him in order to handcuff him.
At that point, Burrell returned to his senses long enough to cry out and ask the cops to stop hurting him -- a plea also screamed by King.
In response, the officers took Burrell outside, even though he was still clad in only his urine-stained underwear and it was wintertime. Only afterward did they remove his handcuffs and place him on a gurney manned by Aurora Fire Department personnel who'd also responded to the scene.
Burrell was transported to the Medical Center of Aurora South, where it was discovered he had a fractured right wrist plus tweaks to previous back and shoulder injuries. The suit also notes his emotional distress as a result of being dragged nearly naked from his home in front of family members and neighbors curious about the emergency crews. He was never charged with a crime.
Continue for more about the Rickey Burrell case, including a video and the complete lawsuit.