Columbia Settles Lawsuit Over 5 Points Arrest for $300,000

8:16 PM, Mar 15, 2013   |    comments
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Johnathan McCoy walks out of the federal courthouse in Columbia on March 12, 2013.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The City of Columbia reached a settlement Friday with a man who sued over an arrest in Columbia's Five Points three years ago.

The city agreed to a $300,000 settlement with Jonathan McCoy.

Back in October of 2009, McCoy's friend was arrested for refusing to leave a Five Points bar. McCoy attempted to ask an officer why his friend was being detained, and moments later, McCoy found himself in handcuffs.

Columbia police said McCoy grabbed the officer, but McCoy said he did not. 

McCoy was charged with interfering with a police officer. While at the jail, McCoy's cellmate, who was arrested on an unrelated charge, committed suicide.

McCoy's lawsuit against the city and three police officers claimed his First Amendment rights were violated.

The trial was set to begin Monday, but last week, a federal judge found the city's officer interference ordinance unconstitutional.

In a statement, the city said the settlement "mitigates the potentially large award for attorneys' fees claimed by Plantiff's counsel and eliminates the need for further appeal of the issued Order."

The city said it will review the future of its ordinance.


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