Jerime Mitchell, Cedar Rapids Man Left Paralyzed by Cop Shooting, Gets $8M Payout

A Black man from Iowa who was left paralyzed after being shot during a traffic stop by a white police officer will be getting an $8 million payout from the City of Cedar Rapids, it was announced on Monday.

But the beneficiary, Jerime Mitchell, says no amount of money will compensate for his paralysis.

"It doesn't matter how much money I get," Mitchell told local television station KCRG-TV. "It will never replace. I would love to have my arms and legs again."

Mitchell was left paralyzed after Lucas Jones, then a Cedar Rapids Police officer, shot him during a traffic stop in November 2016. Jones pulled Mitchell's car over, claiming that his license plate light was not working.

The officer said he smelled marijuana in the car and asked Mitchell to step out of it so Jones could handcuff him. Mitchell refused and Jones pulled him out and onto the ground.

After a fight involving a police dog, Mitchell got back in his truck to drive away but Jones shot him in the neck with a bullet, causing him to crash into an oncoming police car.

Jones, who shot and killed another suspect in 2015, was fired from the police force last June after an internal investigation revealed he had violated police rules in the traffic stop on November 1, 2016—and then lied about it.

Mitchell's trial was due to start on Tuesday but the settlement, which is pending approval by the city council, looks set to cancel it. The settlement is set to be the most expensive payout over police conduct in Iowa's history. It includes no acknowledgment of fault or liability on the part of the defendants.

The city's insurance provider, States Insurance, said in a statement that settling out of court was the best decision.

"This case has been divisive to our community and it is our hope that we can continue to enhance relationships that build trust between our community and our Police Department," City spokesperson Maria Johnson added. "We all share the desire for a safe community."

Mitchell has been in rehab every day to try and recover from his paralysis.

"I've gotten down to my elbows, to start feeling stuff," he told the broadcaster. "I would love to move my arms and legs. Hug my wife, hug my mother. But I can't do any of that."

The $8 million settlement money will help Mitchell get the medical treatment he needs, including some advanced and novel techniques that he might not have had access to otherwise, such as stem cell treatment.

Despite the settlement, Mitchell says the money will never compensate for his past life.

"I will give back that money or any amount of money to have my normal life," he said.

Mitchell's attorney, Larry Rogers, Jr., believes the city settled because it was clear that Jones used excessive force.

"Lucas Jones' firing unnecessarily into a vehicle at Jerime Mitchell who is an unarmed motorist," Rogers, Jr., told the KCRG-TV. "So I think the evidence is pretty clear that the officer used excessive force."

America is also gripped by the recent case of Daunte Wright, who was shot dead by an officer at a traffic stop. The officer, Kim Potter, was charged with manslaughter.

On Tuesday, jurors were deliberating on the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, last May.

Police tape
Stock image of police tape. An Iowa man left paralyzed after an incident involving a traffic stop with a former police officer back in 2016 will be getting an $8 million payout from the City of Cedar Rapids, it was announced on Monday. Larry W. Smith/Getty