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Vegas police to pay record $2.2M to end custody death case

LAS VEGAS – Police in Las Vegas on Monday finalized a record $2.2 million settlement for the family of a man who died after being chased, punched, hit with stun gun jolts and put in a neck restraint by a police officer outside a Las Vegas casino in 2017.

A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department statement said officials hoped the payment to settle the excessive force and negligence lawsuit would bring “closure” to the children of 40-year-old Tashii Farmer Brown.

“While there are still other legal matters pending, this is an important step toward justice in this case,” the department said.

Boris Treyzon, an attorney representing the family, did not immediately respond to messages.

The settlement of the case filed in federal court was outlined July 17 pending approval by the police Fiscal Affairs Committee, and officials acknowledged it was the largest in department history.

Kenneth Lopera, the officer who used the unapproved chokehold on Brown, was fired after the department said he violated use-of-force policies.

Lopera became the first Las Vegas police officer since 1990 to face a manslaughter charge in the city where police shootings and uses of force drew reform recommendations in 2012 from the U.S. Justice Department.

Charges against Lopera, including oppression under color of office, came after the Clark County coroner ruled that Brown was asphyxiated as a result of the police neck restraint. Medical examiners noted also that Brown had an enlarged heart and methamphetamine in his system when he died.

In 2018, criminal charges against Lopera were dropped after police union legal representatives presented evidence to a criminal grand jury that Brown´s death was due to his heart ailment and drug use. The grand jury refused to indict.

A separate lawsuit filed by Brown´s mother, Trinita Farmer, is pending in federal court.

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