Settlement reached in lawsuit filed by family of a suicide victim against the Joplin Police Dept.

Settlement reached in lawsuit filed by family of a suicide victim against the Joplin Police Dept.
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A settlement has been reached in the high-profile lawsuit filed by the family of a suicide victim against the Joplin Police Department.

The family of Brooke Russell filed the suit after Brooke committed suicide in a Joplin park two years ago.

They say while trying to get medical treatment, an altercation occurred between the father, the son and two police officers.

The case was set to go to a jury trial next year.

Court documents do not reveal the amount of the settlement.

Brooke’s father, Kevin Russell, has released the following statement.

“First we would like to say the support from our family, friends and this community near and far has been incredible and we are very thankful for it during these difficult times.

I don’t want to rehash everything the City has put us through because it almost unbelievable the way all of this has been handled: from being arrested, detained, prosecuted and even the process of settling the lawsuit.

We decided to settle because of how difficult it was emotionally to go through mediation let alone a trial. It was hard enough fighting false criminal charges while we were dealing with losing our beautiful daughter. We want to put the legal stuff behind us and try the best we can to live our lives and to heal as a family. Our son is getting married soon and that is our focus now. Speaking of Brant, I would like to clear up his military status. Brant was honorably discharged with an outstanding record. We don’t really know the ramifications of the call the police made to the Army, but we do know what was said directly from the person who received the call.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say I believe officer Tyler Christiansen didn’t do anything wrong that night. I think officer Christensen is a good officer and a good person, and I’m sorry he was caught up in the lawsuit that was really intended to seek accountability for those who were in the wrong the night of the incident, who continued that wrong with lies, and who have consistently treated us disgracefully.

We stand by our story 100% because that is what happened.

I wish Brant and I could have been with Julissa at the hospital and maybe we could have had one more moment with Brooke, to at least hold her and kiss her one last time.”