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Maquoketa to pay $4.5M in wrongful death suit after Iowa DCI clears officers of wrongdoing

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drew edwards
The lawyer for the family of a Maquoketa man who died following an altercation with police has released body camera video of the moments before he died.

MAKOQUETA, Iowa. (KWWL) --- Maquoketa's city council voted Tuesday to settle a wrongful death lawsuit involving an eastern Iowa man who died in police custody.

Drew Edwards' estate is set to settle with the city of Maquoketa and the county for a combined sum of $4.5 million.

According to a Wednesday statement, the Edwards family was more concerned with sending a message than the money.

"The whole reason they kept this going was to make sure this wouldn't happen to anyone else," Dave O'Brien, the family's attorney, said.

In the body cam footage, Maquoketa Police are seen trying to take Edwards into custody, tasing him after he fails to cooperate. Edwards is seen attempting to escape.

Bodycam footage released of Maquoketa man’s arrest as part of wrongful death suit

In the altercation, Edwards is tased four additional times while visibly struggling with the officers.

The plaintiffs claimed officers used excessive force and were responsible for him dying. The suit alleges that a taser should have never been used, citing two prior incidents in which Edwards was tased that resulted in hospitalization.

An autopsy would later reveal Edwards died of cardiac arrest, with methamphetamine, marijuana, and ecstasy in his system.

Local police and the sheriff's office denied any wrongdoing in Edwards' death, with investigators determining the officers involved were not criminally responsible.

O'Brien told KWWL Wednesday that the Edwards family "fought hard" for the civil case after that finding. The family wanted to send a message to their local officers, hoping to encourage the department to re-train on use of force procedures.

"The city has agreed to bringing in an outside person who will review their policies and procedures regarding use of force and restraint, and implement any necessary changes along with necessary training," O'Brien said.

City Administrator Gerald Smith told KWWL Wednesday morning that the city will not comment until all details of the settlement are finalized.

AJ Capuano

Dubuque bureau reporter, KWWL

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