The family of a University of Cumberlands wrestling recruit will receive $2 million from the University of Cincinnati as part of a settlement after the athlete died in a Taser incident on the UC campus in 2011, the family’s attorney announced Wednesday.
Everette Howard, Jr., 18, who was to wrestle at Cumberlands at 165 pounds, died after being tased by UC police in August 2011.
The family had sued UC for wrongful death and civil rights violations in federal court, but both parties came to a settlement this week, according to the Howard family attorney, Al Gerhardstein.
In addition to a $2 million award to the family, UC will create a memorial to honor the wrestler, provide free tuition to his siblings, and issue a letter from the school president expressing regret for the incident. In addition, UC will continue its moratorium on the use of Tasers by campus police.
“For these parents, there is no amount of money that could ever replace their son,” Gerhardstein said. “It was important to them to approach this litigation with the goal of making a difference and preventing future deaths.”
A UC spokesperson said the settlement was “amicable” and that the school has no intention of resuming the use of Tasers “until we have more information about their effectiveness.”
Howard had been wrestling and football team captain at North College Hill High School in suburban Cincinnati before graduating in 2011. He was on the UC campus for college prep courses when he died.
University of the Cumberlands is a 3,300-student school affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. It had been called Cumberland College until 2005. Its sports teams, the Patriots, compete in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). The school has both men's and women's wrestling programs.
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