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City settles lawsuit with man arrested in 2009

By Staff | Jul 26, 2011

The city of Cape Coral recently settled in a lawsuit involving a man who claimed that he was unlawfully arrested in 2009 during Red, White & Boom.
On June 11, the city paid out $35,000 to Shawn Christopher Cleaver, 37, of 3417 S. Ninth St., Lehigh Acres. Cleaver claimed that his arrest was unlawful and that the Cape police officers were negligent and violated his civil rights.
City officials declined to comment on the settlement Tuesday.
“We typically do not comment on these settlement agreements,” Connie Barron, the city’s spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail.
In 2009, Cleaver attended Red, White & Boom with his four daughters and a family friend. After the event, he attempted to pass through a condominium parking lot with the group but was told by security guards to leave the area.
He allegedly tried to leave the parking lot but was prevented from doing so. Cape officers approached and a struggle ensued. Cleaver was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer.
The State Attorney’s Office nolle prossed — did not prosecute — on the battery charge, and it did not file the resisting an officer charge.
During the arrest, a stun gun and pepper spray were used on Cleaver.
Cleaver’s attorney argued that his client “suffered great harm and injury as a result of the unlawful arrest and unprovoked attack by the CCPD officers,” according to official documents.
Cleaver’s 7-year-old daughter was reportedly pushed into a tree during the struggle between the officers and her father, and she sustained bruises.
Cleaver’s attorney did not return a message seeking comment.
A message left for Cleaver also went unreturned Tuesday.