Paso Robles settles lawsuit alleging excessive force by police officer

jlamb@thetribunenews.comJanuary 18, 2013 

The city of Paso Robles has settled a civil rights lawsuit alleging the use of excessive force by one of its former officers, according to a statement from the plaintiff’s lawyer.

Rodi Bragg was awarded $50,000 by the city after filing the federal lawsuit, which stemmed from a July 30, 2010, incident outside Scolari’s in which Officer Jeffry Bromby allegedly used excessive force to arrest her for minor offenses, according to the announcement.

The incident, which allegedly stemmed from Bragg being detained for stealing a bottle of water, was taped on Bromby’s patrol car camera and showed him throw her to the ground, where he “forcibly restrained her” on hot asphalt, causing burns.

The lawsuit filed July 18, 2012, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles came after Bragg’s request for $50,000 from the city to compensate her for her injuries was denied.

“This case brought needed attention to the responsibility of police officers to treat citizens with respect and dignity. The settlement in this case demonstrates the city’s recognition of that responsibility as it moves beyond its Police Department’s sordid past,” said Bragg’s attorney, David Vogel.

Bragg was convicted of misdemeanor theft and disturbing the peace in the months following the altercation.

When asked for comment, City Manager Jim App issued a statement: “A settlement agreement was reached in the Monterroso-Bragg case because it was determined to be in the interest of both parties. The city, its insurance carrier and attorney evaluate a variety of factors when deciding to resolve a case through a settlement agreement. The time and cost of litigation, including depositions and trial, is certainly a factor.”

A settlement is not an admittance of guilt by any party.

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