MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city of Southaven said Tuesday it has settled with the family of Troy Goode, who died in police custody six years ago, in order to avoid a trial.
“While the City remains extremely confident in our legal position and fully and unequivocally supports our first responders, we chose not to subject the City’s finances and our police, firefighters, and EMT’s personal finances to the unpredictability of a jury in today’s climate,” Mayor Darren Musselwhite said in a news release.
The details of the settlement were not released.
Goode died after being arrested by police in July 2015 after witnesses said he was hogtied by Southaven Police and transported to the hospital face-down on a stretcher.
The 30-year-old father and engineer went to a concert at the Snowden Grove Amphitheater with his wife and took LSD. According to attorneys, his wife was driving them home when Goode got out of the car and began to run around.
DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion said at the time that the officers acted responsibly. Champion said Goode was acting erratically and that he wasn’t hog tied. His office said a preliminary autopsy report showed Goode died from a heart related issue, possibly from LSD.
A full statement from Musselwhite is below:
The City of Southaven, in conjunction with our insurance carrier, and Kelli Goode, along with her minor child have reached a settlement to avoid trial.
While the City remains extremely confident in our legal position and fully and unequivocally supports our first responders, we chose not to subject the City’s finances and our police, firefighters, and EMT’s personal finances to the unpredictability of a jury in today’s climate. I will add emphasis and clearly state again that this decision is in no way an admission of guilt as our team did everything we could do to save the life of Troy Goode in an incredibly difficult situation. We also are in no way accepting responsibility for the actions of all other parties involved. The night of this incident our first responders faced many challenges while timely decisions were critical. They served courageously and I will not let them be second-guessed by
anyone, including a jury, while doing their job keeping the City and our citizens safe.
Our Board of Aldermen and I will always back and fully support our first responders and specifically do everything in our power to protect them from personal financial judgments when doing their job in a professional manner. In addition, my administration, along with our Board of Aldermen, has worked extremely hard to significantly increase the City’s reserve fund balance and do not wish to risk these funds with a potentially unfavorable judgment. Thus, today’s decision ends this lawsuit and the uncertainty for all.
As I have said in the past, this has been a tragic situation for all involved, and again, on behalf of
the City of Southaven, I express condolences to Kelli Goode and the family.