Jerime Mitchell reacts to settling Cedar Rapids officer-involved shooting lawsuit

In an exclusive interview, KCRG-TV9's Phil Reed spoke to Mitchell about what's next.
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Jerime Mitchell, the Cedar Rapids man left paralyzed after an incident during a traffic stop with a former Cedar Rapids Police officer four years ago, is getting $8 million in a settlement. Mitchell said he would trade it all to have his life back to the way it was.

“It doesn’t matter how much money I get,” Mitchell said. “It will never replace. I would love to have my arms and legs again.”

Mitchell was paralyzed after former Cedar Rapids Police officer Lucas Jones shot him during a traffic stop back in 2016. The civil trial was supposed to start tomorrow, but the city’s insurance company decided to settle, giving Mitchell $8 million. The settlement includes no acknowledgment of fault or liability on the part of the defendants.

Mitchell attacks rehab every day, dreaming of a better tomorrow.

“I’ve gotten down to my elbows, to start feeling stuff,” Mitchell said. “I would love to move my arms and legs. Hug my wife, hug my mother. But I can’t do any of that.”

His wife, Bracken Mitchell by his side through it all.

“Your life is just ripped out from underneath you in just a split second,” Bracken said. “You go to work one day and then the next day this happens and nothing is ever the same again.”

The $8 million settlement money will help Mitchell get the medical treatment he needs, including some advanced and novel techniques that he might not have had access to otherwise.

“Now I can look at stem cell programs that’s going on,” Mitchell said. “Because they are pretty expensive.”

Mitchell is following the officer-involved shooting death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center closely. This one also happened at a traffic stop. It’s motivating him to become an advocate.

“Go talk to the community, and let them know that the police training definitely needs to be redone,” Mitchell said. “And reforming to me is weeding out of all of the bad, because all cops aren’t bad.”

It’s why he says he’s happy the Cedar Rapids Police Department fired Jones, even though it was for violations unrelated to the shooting that injured him. While Mitchell is trying to look forward, the past still haunts him.

“I will give back that money or any amount of money to have my normal life,” Mitchell said.

Larry Rogers, Jr., Mitchell’s attorney, said he believes the city settled because it was clear that Jones used excessive force.

“Lucas Jones’ firing unnecessarily into a vehicle at Jerime Mitchell who is an unarmed motorist,” Rogers, Jr., said. “So I think the evidence is pretty clear that the officer used excessive force.”

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