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Under Justice Department review, Phoenix police settle use-of-force claim for $5 million

The Phoenix City Council approved a multimillion dollar settlement with a man who claims he was injured by police in January 2020 after officers wrongly identified him as a crime suspect.

The payout comes as a large police union is publicly urging the mayor to reject an expected demand for reform by the U.S. Justice Department.

Court records describe Dion Humphrey as an underweight 19-year old with health problems and having no semblance to an older half-brother who Phoenix police first thought he was.

A rubber bullet hit Humphrey in the chest as he was swarmed by police after walking his sisters to school.

Humphrey’s attorney argues he had to wait hours to seek medical treatment because police held him despite knowing that he was not the suspect.

Phoenix agreed to pay Humphrey $5 million as officials await the results of a sweeping Justice Department review focused in part on whether Phoenix police are excessively violent.

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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.