City in Iowa Gave Black Teen Hush Money After Police Assault

By Sameer Rao Aug 25, 2016

The Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday (August 24) that the city of Waterloo, Iowa, paid a Black teenager to keep quiet about his settlement for an incident where a White police officer threw him to the ground.

The news organization secured record of the confidentiality agreement via the state’s open records law. From the report:

After resolving his federal lawsuit for $95,000, the city of Waterloo negotiated an extra $5,000 payment to Malcolm Anderson last month in exchange for guarantees that the 19-year-old and his attorney would not have any press conferences, make any disclosures to civil rights groups or ever mention the deal on social media.

The 2014 incident started when Anderson accompanied an acquaintance with stab wounds to an area hospital. As he was talking with his mother on a payphone, officers approached him and hung up the call, telling him to come to the station with them. Having already told the officers that he knew nothing about the stabbing, he said that if he wasn’t under arrest, he would not voluntarily go to the station. Officer Mark Nissen immediately cited the then-17-year-old for underage tobacco possession. While arresting Anderson, he threw him to the ground. Local journalist Myke Goings caught the arrest on video. Charges against Anderson for resisting arrest and underage tobacco posession were later dismissed, and Nissen was cleared of excessive force charges following an internal investiagtion.

"The parties and their attorneys will not speak or provide any information to any media sources and will hold no press conferences," reads the confidentiality agreement. "The parties and their attorneys also agree not to put any information … on any form of social media, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat or Instagram."

(H/t ABC 9)