FORT MYERS, Fla. City Council approved a $440,000 settlement Monday with NFL player and Cape Coral High School graduate Nate Allen over his botched detainment.
The sides had an “agreement in principle,” Mayor Randy Henderson said earlier Monday after council members had a closed-door meeting with the interim city attorney.
The vote to approve the settlement was unanimous.
“I’ve apologized to him on behalf of the council once; I’m going to do it again tonight,” Henderson said Monday afternoon. “I think it’s horrible that he has suffered this.”
Allen was detained in February 2015, accused of exposing himself to an underage girl. He was cleared a few days later, and officers found he never committed the crime in the first place.
“We said at the beginning of this case that Mr. Allen came forward so aggressively to bring about change to (the) Fort Myers Police Department and the city as a whole,” Allen’s attorney Sawyer Smith said Monday. “And we feel like today is a step in that direction.”
The fallout led to the firing of former police Chief Doug Baker in August 2015, six months after the encounter.
“It definitely brought awareness to the situation,” Allen said. “I think it’s something that’s not only in our city that’s going on. … So, hopefully it did bring awareness around this area, and it happens fewer times.”
Not everyone was happy with the settlement.
“If this wasn’t about money why didn’t Mr. Nate Allen demand changes to make sure this miscarriage of justice did not happen to anyone else, especially financially challenged African-American men without resources to fight the system as he has successfully done,” Anthony Thomas from Citizens for a better tomorrow said in a statement.
Thomas is also calling on Allen to donate his settlement money to charity.