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Niagara Falls man receives $9,500 settlement in police excessive force case

The Niagara Falls City Council voted Wednesday to pay a $9,500 settlement to a city man who filed a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming he was unnecessarily zapped with a Taser after a traffic incident.

Rasaun L. Blackmon, 29, claimed his arm was permanently scarred by the Taser Feb. 21, 2017, near his home on Highland Avenue; the city's lawyers argued the injuries were minimal.

Blackmon was charged with reckless driving and other violations after he allegedly sped past two officers as they were writing traffic tickets for another driver.

The court file shows that Blackmon ran from the officers and was tackled and "tased" twice, but City Judge Robert P. Merino dismissed charges of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Blackmon later pleaded guilty to violating the state's "move over" law.

The settlement was reached after U.S. Magistrate Hugh B. Scott recommended dismissal of all Blackmon's complaints except an allegation of excessive force.

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