Indiana Man Who Lost Eye During 2020 Protests Reaches Settlement

An Indiana man who says he lost an eye after being struck by a tear gas canister police fired during 2020 protests over the killing of George Floyd has reached a settlement with the city of Fort Wayne.

Balin Brake sued the city in October 2020, alleging his constitutional rights were violated and excessive force was used during the May 30, 2020, protests in the city’s downtown.

Attorneys for both sides asked a federal judge on March 22 to give them until April 21 to obtain signatures and file documents to dismiss the case after they completed the terms of a settlement agreement, The Journal Gazette reported.

Mediator Eric Chickedantz told the court that the two sides had agreed on a resolution in January. Details of the settlement have not been disclosed in documents filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne.

Brake accused a Fort Wayne officer of firing a tear gas canister that struck him in his right eye, rupturing it and leading to its surgical removal.

City officials have denied liability and said a Fort Wayne police officer did not deploy a tear gas canister at Brake’s face during the protests. They have said Brake’s injuries resulted from his own actions and that no excessive force was used.

Brake had asked for a jury trial, and was seeking an unspecified amount in damages for his injuries and attorney fees.

He was injured as he joined others in protests in downtown Fort Wayne after Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer in May 2020.

This article was first published in Insurance Journal.

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