$200,000 North Carolina Injury Settlement Reached with Roommate of Teen Who Was Fatally Shot by Sheriff’s Corporal

November 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina personal injury settlement has been reached between Michael Rhoton and New Hanover County. Rhoton is accusing Sheriff Ed McMahon, ex-Sheriff Sid Causey, other office members, and the county’s insurer of failing to follow proper procedures when a warrant was served to his roommate Peyton Strickland on December 1, 2006. Strickland, a suspect in the robbery of a University of North Carolina Wilmington student’s Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles, was accidentally shot in the head by Cpl. Christopher Long, who didn’t realize that what sounded like gunshots was in fact a battering ram.

Rhoton saw his roommate get shot multiple times. The heavily armed law enforcement team then allegedly held a gun to Rhoton’s head while forcing him to stay on the ground next to Strickland, who was dying. The officers also shot and killed Strickland’s dog.

Rhoton, who was never a suspect in the robbery, was held in custody overnight. His North Carolina injury attorney says that Rhoton has been dealing with trauma, survivor’s guilty, and post-traumatic stress issues. Rhoton’s North Carolina excessive use of force lawsuit against the UNCW’s police department is still pending.

In 2008, Strickland’s family settled their wrongful death case over the deadly shooting with the county for $2.45 million.

North Carolina Excessive Use of Force
It is not acceptable for someone to get hurt or die because a law enforcement official used excessive force when dealing with him/her. There are less violent ways to apprehend or question or hold a suspect. Unfortunately, North Carolina police brutality and excessive use of force do happen.

New Hanover County pays roommate of fatal shooting victim Strickland, StarNewsOnline, November 2, 2010

Sheriff’s department settles with Strickland family, WWAY, February 27, 2008

Related Web Resources:
New Hanover County

University of North Carolina Wilmington Police Department


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