ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania city has paid $95,000 to settle a lawsuit by a Black college student who said he was wrongly shocked with a stun gun after police stopped to question him about a robbery.
Alexander Aron was a 22-year-old Alvernia University student in October 2014 when two officers stopped him outside his home because they were looking for “an Afro-American wearing sweats” who had just robbed a grocery store, according to the lawsuit.
Aron retrieved his identification card, and although he said it appeared the police no longer thought he was the robbery suspect, they continued to harass him because of his race, he contends.
When police asked him his name, Aron said it was on the ID card, which prompted an officer to arrest Aron, put a handcuff on his wrist and then slam him face-first onto the porch, according to the lawsuit.
Four officers allegedly attempted to subdue Aron by punching, kneeing and hitting him, and then zapping him with a stun gun, the lawsuit said.
The charges, including resisting arrest, were later dismissed after cellphone video surfaced.
The bystander who shot that video, Eli Heckman, was also arrested and had his phone smashed by police. He settled a wrongful arrest and excessive force lawsuit for $45,000 after criminal charges against him were also dismissed.
Allentown officials didn’t acknowledge liability as part of the settlement, and have not commented on it.
The settlement was reported Thursday by The (Allentown) Morning Call and The (Easton) Express-Times who filed a Right-to-Know request.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Allentown had been dismissed last month, court records show.
Aron’s attorney, Robert Goldman, said, “We’re satisfied with how the case was resolved.”