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Wallingford man dies after settlement over excessive force claim

Wallingford man dies after settlement over excessive force claim



reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — A local man died less than a month after receiving a $275,000 settlement from the town over alleged police brutality.

Gary Joseph King, 27, died unexpectedly Feb. 18, according to his obituary.

King’s father’s family declined to comment Wednesday. King’s mother couldn't be reached.

“Gary was a truly exceptional young man whose road in life was a difficult one,” his obituary stated. “He will be truly missed.”

King died from an accidental drug overdose, according to the chief medical examiner’s office.

King was struck in the head while handcuffed as Wallingford police officers attempted to arrest him during a domestic violence incident on Ward Street on June 14, 2018.

Police Officer Joseph Smith, who struck King, served a two-week suspension in October 2018 after an internal investigation determined it was an excessive use of force.

Loughlin Fitzgerald, a personal injury law firm, filed an intent to sue in December 2018 on behalf of King.

According to a Jan. 24 letter from Town Attorney Gerald Farrell Sr., the settlement was handled between King's lawyer and Wallingford's insurance company.

A $25,000 deductible from the town was applied toward the $275,000 settlement, Farrell said.

Town officials said Wednesday that the settlement money was disbursed before his death.


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