greensboro

His life mattered: After protests and pushback, city settles Smith lawsuit for $2.57 million

More than three years after Marcus Smith, a homeless Black man, died in police custody, the city of Greensboro announced Tuesday that it has settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by his family for $2.57 million.

Mary Smith sued the city, Guilford County, eight police officers and two paramedics in her son’s controversial death, which has been fuel for those who want to reform Greensboro’s police force.

Video from officer-worn cameras of the September 2018 incident showed an anxious Smith, seemingly in the midst of a mental health episode, on downtown Church Street pleading for help from police before he was restrained, with his hands bound to his feet while lying on his stomach.

The method of extreme restraint — commonly known as “hogtying” — led to his death, a state medical examiner later said.

And it would be the foundation of the lawsuit filed by the Smith family.

Since then, the city has been under immense pressure to settle and spent hundreds of thousands in attorney fees defending various aspects of the case.

Some wondered if a settlement would ever be reached.

But that changed Tuesday.

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