Teen thrown by Waterloo officer paid to keep quiet - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Teen thrown by Waterloo officer paid to keep quiet

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New video shows the moments after a local teenager was thrown to the ground by a Waterloo Police Officer in 2014.

Later, the teen was paid off to keep quiet about the incident in a settlement with the City of Waterloo.

The 2014 incident is one of three lawsuits Waterloo's Police Department is currently dealing with.  Two have now been settled; one without a confidentiality agreement.

But the settlement with Malcolm Anderson, 19, included a $5,000 confidentiality agreement.

A recent Associate Press article said the city tried to hide the confidentiality agreement during an opens records request.

The city provided a summary of the settlement in response to the first request, which is legal under Iowa law.

The summary showed a $100,000 payment to Anderson.

But the Associated Press requested more information and  the city sent them details of what was actually two payments; one for $95,000 and a second $5,000 payment to keep quiet. 

"The interesting part is the terminology of hush money. That is not familiar to me," said Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart.

Waterloo City Attorney Dave Zellhoefer declined to speak to the Associated Press, but told KWWL although not common, confidentiality agreements can be used legally in this type of settlement.

Zellhoefer said both parties wanted to lay the issue to rest.

But some say the idea of a confidentiality agreement when any government office is involved is concerning.

"The secrecy is only one factor. The fundamental issue here is whether police officers are adequately trained to know how to deal with circumstances that come their way," said Executive Director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, Randy Evans.

"When we are wrong, we need to be held accountable for what we have done. When we are right, we need to be celebrated and we need to focus on those things as well. No one is perfect. . . The biggest room that we have is the room for improvement and what we have seen from these situations, there is a lot of opportunity for improvement," said Mayor Hart.

 Mayor Hart pointed to community meetings the city has hosted this year and a specialist in community policing relations the city is working to bring to Waterloo after visiting the specialist in North Carolina last week.

 KWWL contacted Malcolm Anderson's attorney, he declined to comment on the agreement.


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