BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
A payment of $35,000 to Keriekan Palmer was authorized to be taken from Daytona Beach’s Consolidated Insurance Fund at the city’s last commission meeting. The payment comes after Palmer suffered three fractured teeth following a citation for littering in June 2012. Yes, littering.
Palmer will share the $35,000 with his attorney, David Glasser, for release of all claims stemming from the event. The Daytona Times was told city commissioners were not at liberty to speak on the matter.
According to records, Palmer was pulled over on June 23, 2012, at approximately 5:45 p.m. near Oakridge Boulevard and Oleander Avenue. It was at that time former Daytona Beach Police Officer Matthew Booth pulled Palmer over and clocked him going 56 mph in a 40 mph zone. Booth issued a speeding ticket to Palmer for the violation.
As Booth walked back to his cruiser, he observed Palmer throwing the speeding ticket out of the driver’s side window. Booth then walked back to Palmer, ordered him out of the car and stated that he was under arrest for littering.
Reports state that Palmer did not immediately exit his vehicle.
It was at this point Booth began to physically remove Palmer from the vehicle to complete the arrest, according to reports. Booth punched Palmer on the left side of the face, which allowed him to pull him out of the vehicle. Once outside he then pushed Palmer against the vehicle also striking the right side of Palmer’s face. Palmer was then handcuffed by a backup officer and transported to Halifax Medical Center.
Palmer’s mugshot from the arrest appears to show lacerations on the side of his face.
‘A little excessive’
A supplemental report filed the next day, June 24, 2012, indicated that after the incident, Booth reported he “thought that his actions were a little excessive.”
According to a letter addressed to the city commission on Nov. 7, 2014 from City Attorney Marie Hartman, “Palmer’s medical records reflect that he suffered lacerations to his mouth requiring eight stitches and three fractured teeth requiring dental treatment. Mr. Palmer’s total medical expenses were $7,248.”
Palmer’s attorney submitted a notice of claim for false arrest, excessive force, intentional in fliction of emotional distress, and malicious prosecution in violation of state and federal law.
Could have been more
Hartman explained to the commission that after investigation of the claim, “the City’s Risk Manager and the Claimant (Glasser and Palmer) have agreed to a settlement of $35,000 in exchange for a release of all claims.”
Hartman noted that if taken to court Palmer likely would have won much more than the $35,000 settlement.
“The Incident Review Committee recommends approval of the proposed settlement,” Hartman continued.
“If this claim is not settled, a suit would be filed and a jury verdict could result in an award substantially in excess of the settlement amount.”
A motion to pay up was carried across the board at the commission meeting, 7-0.
Booth was fired in May 2014 following the investigation into an arrest in June 2013 where he and Daytona Beach Officer Justin Ranum were accused of using excessive force on Christine Chippewa.
At the time, of the arrest, records show that Ranum turned off his body camera during an incident under the Seabreeze Bridge. Chippewa was accused of stuffing a bag of cocaine in her mouth and in a complaint to the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD), she says Booth put his fingers down her throat, shoved a flashlight in her mouth and kicked her in the head.
“In the middle of the arrest, the camera goes blank and then I have a woman with her teeth knocked out of her mouth and headed to the hospital,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood at the time.
An internal investigation was held and Ranum reportedly resigned and Booth was reportedly fired.
Chippewa settled with the City of Daytona Beach for $20,000 and all of her charges were dropped.
Calls to Palmer’s attorney were not returned.