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City of Utica settles UPD excessive force case for $150,000

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UTICA, N.Y. – The City of Utica has settled with a man who was stomped on the head by an officer while in police custody in September of 2020.

The Utica Board of Estimate and Apportionment approved a $150,000 settlement with Kerwin Taylor, who was suing the city over the excessive force used by Officer Matthew Felitto.

Taylor was arrested on Sept. 4, 2020, after allegedly threatening a woman and then fleeing from police. After he was taken into custody, there was body camera footage of Felitto stomping on Taylor’s head while Taylor’s wrists and ankles were restrained.

In an effort to be transparent with the community, Utica Police Department held a press conference to address the incident directly on Sept. 10, 2020.

At the time, Police Chief Mark Williams said "excessive force will not be tolerated," and Felitto was placed on paid administrative leave, pending an arbitration hearing at which the department says they will seek termination. More than a year later, Felitto is still on leave. The hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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