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Mom of inmate who died after beating settles suit for $985K

On July 13, 2020, Carlos Mahoney and Matthew Sullivan from White & Allen in Kinston finalized a $985,000 global settlement in a civil rights case arising from the wrongful death of Graydon Jerome Parker, III, age 54, in the Wayne County Detention Center in Goldsboro, NC.

Mr. Parker was in an acute manic state and experiencing a psychiatric emergency when he was arrested and admitted to the Detention Center. The detention officers and nursing staff did not obtain any medical treatment for him and he was pepper-sprayed, stripped naked, and placed in a segregation cell for nine hours. Mr. Parker’s mental state deteriorated and he was involved during the night-shift in a fatal altercation with five detention officers and a state trooper. He experienced sudden cardiac arrest and later died due to blunt force trauma, pepper spray, multiple taser applications, and positional asphyxia while being held in a prone position.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina against fifteen defendants. The claims included deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs and excessive force in violation of Mr. Parker’s due process rights under the 14th amendment. Mr. Parker was survived by his mother.


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