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Greensboro reaches $2.57M settlement with family of Marcus Smith

Photo courtesy of Kim Smith
via WFDD
The Smith family in downtown Greensboro in 2015. From left to right: Marcus Smith, Mary Smith, George Smith, and Marcus’ brother Leonard Butler.

The city of Greensboro has settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Marcus Smith.

The city announced Tuesday it has settled the lawsuit for $2.57 million, with the money going to Smith’s parents and his children.

Smith was picked up by Greensboro police in September 2018. He later died after being immobilized by officers using a controversial restraining method similar to a hogtie. Activists have compared his death to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the case shone a spotlight on Greensboro police protocols.

Smith’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the city after an autopsy report determined the method of restraint was in part responsible for his death, which was labeled a homicide.

City Attorney Chuck Watts read a statement at this week’s City Council meeting saying that in addition to the financial payment, the settlement will also formally acknowledge the agreement with a commemorative plaque stating that "Marcus Deon Smith’s life mattered."

Most of the money will be paid by the city of Greensboro, with the remainder by Guilford County.

Watts said that because legal details have not been finalized, there will be no further immediate public comment.

This story was originally published at WFDD.

Neal Charnoff | WFDD
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