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File #: 210750.    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Staff Recommendation Status: Passed
File created: 12/21/2021 In control: City Attorney
On agenda: 1/6/2022 Final action: 1/6/2022
Title: Whitney Brown v. City of Gainesville; Presuit Claim Resulting from a Law Enforcement Action that occurred in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida on or about May 13, 2020. (NB)
title
Whitney Brown v. City of Gainesville; Presuit Claim Resulting from a Law Enforcement Action that occurred in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida on or about May 13, 2020. (NB)

recommendation
The City Commission 1) approve the terms of the negotiated settlement agreement; and 2) authorize the City Attorney to settle the claim of Whitney Brown, arising from an incident that occurred on or about May 13, 2020.

explanation
On May 13, 2020, Gainesville Police Department officers responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at the claimant's home. After an on-site investigation, the claimant was taken into custody and transported to the county jail, under arrest for aggravated assault. The arrest was the subject of a local television news report and an article in the Gainesville Sun. The claimant's "mug shot" was a public record and available for online viewing throughout the community. Her employer became aware of the arrest, and her career was put in jeopardy, and essentially stalled throughout the pendency of the criminal matter. She feels that she has suffered significant reputational harm.

Shortly after the arrest, the claimant's mother, who was present for part of the incident and on-site investigation, contacted a detective within the Criminal Investigations Division of GPD. Her concerns surrounding the incident and arrest prompted an immediate review of the arrest report and body-worn camera footage. GPD supervisors determined that the arrest appeared unwarranted, and expressed these grave concerns with prosecutors from the State Attorney's Office. Fortunately, the State Attorney's Office concurred with the GPD supervisors' assessment and declined to prosecute the charges. GPD personnel contacted the claimant's employer to assure them that the arrest was unjustified, and try to ameliorate any negative effects of the incident.

The incident was forwarded to the GPD Internal Affairs Department to conduct a full, formal review of the interac...

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