Black Man Shot by Iowa Police Settles Suit for $400K

October 26, 2020

A Black man who was shot by police outside an Iowa nightclub five years ago and alleged he was singled out because of his race has agreed to a nearly $400,000 settlement.

Jovan Darnell Webb, 33, was wounded while attempting to pull out of the New World nightclub parking lot in Waterloo during a disturbance in April 2015. His suit also alleged excessive force, equal protection violations and battery on the part of the police officers, The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.

The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial this month in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. The decision to settle for $399,999 was made by the city’s liability insurance carrier.

The city’s attorney, David Baker, declined to comment.

Waterloo officers had responded to the club around closing time because of a disturbance that included a report of possible gunfire. According to court records and testimony at pretrial hearings, a plainclothes officer saw Webb enter a car with a bottle and ran after the vehicle, calling for uniformed officers to stop him.

Another officer stepped in front of the vehicle but dived out of the way when it bumped his legs because he was worried he was about to be run over. Fearing the officer was being dragged, two other officers began shooting at the car, striking Webb in the arm, abdomen and chest.

Webb’s attorneys said he was stopped when the shooting started and only accelerated to get away from the gunfire.

Webb drove to a nearby hospital, where officers searched his car in the parking lot and found a .22-caliber revolver.

Webb was sentenced to probation after entering Alford pleas in 2017 to misdemeanor charges of assault on an officer, interference and carrying weapons. Under the plea, he didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged he would likely be convicted if the case went to trial.

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