SBCO

A settlement could be approved Tuesday in three civil cases brought against the county by different family members of Dante Parker, the former Daily Press employee who died in sheriff’s custody after being stunned with a Taser as many as 12 times in August 2014.

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted:    Mar. 14, 2016 at 8:58 AM
Updated: Mar. 14, 2016 at 2:59 PM

  • County Supervisors will decide Tuesday whether to sign off

SAN BERNARDINO — The terms of a settlement agreed upon sometime after Feb. 9 could be approved Tuesday in three civil cases brought against the county and law enforcement officials by family members of Dan’te Parker, the former Daily Press pressman who died in sheriff’s custody after being stunned with a Taser as many as 12 times in August 2014.

Attorneys for Parker’s family members jointly engaged with the defendants’ lawyers in mediation Feb. 9, and while they “were not far from an agreement” at that time, the parties ultimately came to terms on the settlement sometime afterward, federal court records show.

Attorneys for San Bernardino County, Sheriff John McMahon, nine deputies and a sergeant had countered the family members’ closing settlement demand delivered at mediation and the family later reduced the demand in response, according to a filing Friday in Riverside by the defendants’ attorneys.

“At this time, the defendants will appear before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on March 15, 2016, or soon thereafter, to seek approval of a settlement,” the filing said. “Counsel will file an updated status report with the Court should any settlement be agreed upon or should the matter remain set for trial.”

A special closed session of the Supervisors has been scheduled for Tuesday. The agenda lists the three cases that were filed separately by Parker’s wife and children, his father, and his mother.

An expected trial date for June 28 will be vacated if Supervisors indeed sign off on the settlement, a deal that had appeared to grow in likelihood since at least December. The terms agreed upon by attorneys were not immediately known.

At the crux of the three lawsuits, the common nucleus alleges that sheriff’s deputies used unnecessary force on the father of five and delayed giving him medical attention.

Parker, 36, died not long after being taken into custody as a residential burglary suspect on Aug. 12, 2014. He was combative with deputies and under the influence of phencyclidine (PCP), according to authorities and a coroner’s report.

The District Attorney’s office later concluded that deputies were justified in their use of force, outlining in a report the details of the altercation gleaned from interviews with 15 deputies or witnesses.

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