BRIDGETON — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit that Jerame Reid — the man shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in Bridgeton — had pending against Cumberland County at the time of his death.
Cumberland County recently approved a $340,000 settlement to be awarded to Reid’s estate, according to an official close to the case.
The matter is headed to federal court for final approval and then a probate court will decide how the assets are to be distributed.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Camden in January 2011, alleged Reid was assaulted while held in the Cumberland County Jail. It names the county, Cumberland County Department of Corrections, Warden Robert Balicki, and three corrections officers: Victor Bermudez, John Zamot and John Ballard.
The attorney representing Reid — Mark Frost of Mark Frost & Associates, in Philadelphia — said he will be filing a petition to approve the settlement by June 26.
“The settlement has already been agreed upon and approved by the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders,” Frost said.
Reid, 36, was shot and killed during a traffic stop made by city Bridgeton police Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley on the night of Dec. 30. The prosecutor’s office recently finished its investigation into the use of deadly force in the shooting — which was captured on a police dashboard camera — and it has been sent up to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office for review.
Reid, of Bridgeton, claimed that on Oct. 15, 2009, officers Bermudez and Zamot, “without any justification or provocation,” repeatedly punched, kicked and pepper sprayed his face and then poured a cold bucket of water on him while he was curled up on the ground in his cell in the county jail in Bridgeton.
Allegedly left on the cell floor and not found until two hours later during officers’ shift change, Reid told a nurse that he was beaten by other inmates “out of fear of retaliation and further beatings from the officers,” according to court documents.
The complaint claimed that Reid suffered broken ribs, a fractured left orbital bone and loss of sensation and nerve damage in his lips and cheek area.
Reid was placed in the county jail on Sept. 28, 2009, on charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of justice.
After his death, his wife Lawanda Hartsfield-Reid became administrator of Reid’ estate and proceeded with the claim.
In March, Hartsfield-Reid filed a wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit asking for more than $1 million stemming from Reid’s death. That matter remains ongoing.