A Hempstead woman shot by a Nassau County police officer searching for suspected drug dealers who lived in the apartment below her has reached a $650,000 settlement with the county, according to her attorney and court records.
Iyanna Davis was shot in 2010, once in the breast, by a bullet that then went through her abdomen and both thighs, by an officer who said his assault rifle went off accidentally, court records say. Davis was never charged with any crime and the officer was cleared by an internal police investigation of any wrongdoing.
"My client is pleased and justice has been served," Davis' attorney, Charles Horn of Lake Success, said Friday.
Carnell Foskey, the Nassau County attorney, declined to comment. Final approval of the settlement depends on the Nassau County Legislature and the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.
Davis had brought a civil rights action in March against the county in federal court in Central Islip, but the settlement was reached on the sixth day of the trial, before the jury began deliberating, according to court records and Horn.
Disagreements over some details in the settlement prevented Davis' and county attorneys from finalizing the agreement until recently.
Davis' case was among those featured in a Newsday article looking into the Nassau police department's use of deadly force. The article said that shootings by the police were ruled by internal investigations to be justified, even when the circumstances may have been questionable.
Davis, who was 22 when she was shot, has said that when the officers burst into her building, she hid in a closet because she thought they were armed robbers. "I told them I was afraid and do not shoot me, and one officer screamed at me to put my hands above my head," she said in a deposition. "That's when I heard the shot and I felt myself sit down because the force actually knocked me back on my backside."
Though the actual police internal investigation is sealed because of a confidentiality agreement, Horn has said it was filled with "inaccuracies" in order to justify the shooting that he termed "reckless."
Among the inaccuracies was the claim that "had her jumping out of the closet," Horn has said.