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A man who says he was beaten by Hanford police settled a lawsuit with the city and police department earlier this year, according to court documents uncovered Monday by The Sentinel.

Larry Dennis Miller Sr., along with his wife, Cheryl Miller, and son Larry Miller Jr., agreed to drop a police brutality complaint he filed against five officers as well as the police chief and the city, after the city’s risk management authority agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money.

Miller’s attorney, Daniel Wainwright of Fresno, could not be reached for comment Monday.

City Attorney Robert Dowd confirmed an agreement had been reached but would not give the dollar amount, citing confidentiality of the settlement.

“That case was settled by the [Central San Joaquin Valley Risk Management Authority], and the settlement was signed under a confidentiality agreement by the RMA,” Dowd said.

City insurance covered the cost of the settlement to the family, and the city has a $100,000 deductible in the pooled program through the risk management authority.

The settlement was reached out of court in late January, and the Millers dismissed the case in February.

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The settlement resolved a 2-year-old complaint filed against the city alleging that the elder Miller was struck by officers Jason Stingley and Frank Martinez and that Officer Dale Williams pepper-sprayed him. The complaint alleged that officers Brenda Lemos and Hector Cavazos observed without intervening. The suit also named Chief Carlos Mestas and the city as defendants.

Miller Sr., the plaintiff, was criminally prosecuted by the Kings County District Attorney’s office on charges of resisting officers, although he was acquitted by a jury.

The city did not admit fault as part of the settlement, and no disciplinary action has been taken against the police officers named in the case.

“The city and all of the named officers deny liability and any responsibility for any injury described by the plaintiffs in their complaint,” Dowd said, reading a passage from the settlement agreement and mutual release document.

The 2009 lawsuit claiming excessive force and civil rights violations stemmed from a Sept. 18, 2008 incident, when Miller’s wife made a 911 phone call about a situation involving her husband and his gun, and Hanford police officers responded to their residence in Hanford. The suit alleges that there was no physical confrontation when officers tried to subdue Miller.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2429 or eyamashita@HanfordSentinel.com.

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