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Phoenix City Council to consider $5 million settlement in Muhaymin case

The Phoenix City Council could soon approve a multimillion-dollar settlement of a wrongful death and disability lawsuit against the city and a group of police officers. 

The 2017 case of a man who died after being arrested on an old warrant outside the Maryvale Community Center is scheduled to go to trial in April.

Court records say Muhammad Muhaymin died after multiple police officers allegedly twice put their weight on his body, including after Muhaymin was restrained.

On Nov. 17, the Phoenix City Council will weigh whether to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit by Muhaymin’s sister.

A city spokesman declined to comment on the potential settlement before the council votes.

Lawyer David Chami represents Muhaymin’s estate. He said how Phoenix police treat homeless and disabled people is under review by the U.S. Justice Department.

“Mr. Muhaymin had both. He was transient and he also had mental health issues,” said Chami.

Court records say Muhaymin had PTSD, claustrophobia and schizophrenia.

A payout by the city would benefit Muhaymin’s children, said Chami.

“One of them is now 15 years old. She was 10 years old when her father died,” he said.

The Arizona Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement on the potential settlement.

“Muhammad Muhaymin’s murder is a painful reminder that police brutality, anti Blackness and Islamophobia leaves no city untouched. The settlement sounds just, but there’s no amount of money that will ever bring Mr. Muhaymin back to his family. People don’t just want the money, people want to see the system change,” wrote Azza Abuseif, executive director.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.