The City of Gaffney on Tuesday reached a $200,000 wrongful death settlement with the estate of a man who died in police custody in 2009.
Omar Donta Adams, 31, died while in the custody of Gaffney Police on June 10, 2009. The settlement order calls for the city to pay Adams’ estate $194,000 for the wrongful death claim and $6,000 for the conscious pain and suffering claim.
The lawsuit claimed that two Gaffney police officers responded to a domestic violence call at Adams’ Willow Street house and attempted to arrest Adams. The complaint claimed that the officers “applied a choke hold to his neck or otherwise choked or strangled him [Adams],” during a scuffle before he died.
The city denies those claims.
“It was really a shock,” said neighbor Brianna Lloyd. “I do think it’s fair that they do make a settlement. I’m sure that funeral costs were expensive.”
Gaffney City Administrator James Taylor called Adams’ death “very tragic,” and said the settlement was “appropriate.”
The city’s insurance carrier will pay the $200,000 settlement.