FedEx Courier Larry Strickler to Get $18,000 in Unprovoked Assault by Maricopa Deputy Sean Edwards-El
Maricopa County will pay an $18,000 to settle a lawsuit against a Phoenix FedEx worker who was attacked without provocation by a deputy.
The deputy, Sean Edwards-El, was found guilty of misdemeanor assault in 2011 for the attack. He's still employed by MCSO.
As we reported last year, Strickler had been working at the FedEx office at 4475 North 43rd Avenue about 8 a.m. February 3, the same time that Edwards-El and other deputies were conducting routine inspections of packages. (We're not sure what the inspection entails. On a side note, a California judge ruled last week that cops in that state can't open packages just because they think they smell pot.)
Strickler approached Edwards-El to say hello. Apparently, the deputy had been having a bad day -- he appears to have just snapped, according to Strickler's federal complaint.
Without any warning or provocation, Edwards-El roughed up Strickler by "grabbing him around the throat and forcefully pushing him backwards against a truck," the complaint says.
Another deputy reportedly agreed the attack wasn't provoked.
The notice of claim that preceded the lawsuit states that Strickler received medical treatments after the attack, worked fewer hours and had to limit his work and personal activities for a few weeks. Strickler had sought $150,000 originally.
Last month, the county and Strickler agreed to the lower amount of $18,000.
Jenny Jansch, a local attorney who helped Strickler in the case, says "of course we would have liked a lot more" money for the settlement, but that Strickler feels the final payout amount is "reasonable."
Edwards-El was convicted of misdemeanor assault in Phoenix municipal court on September 1, 2011, records show.
New Times asked the Sheriff's Office earlier this week for info about Edwards-El, such as his duty status and whether he was ever disciplined for the assault and conviction. We have to assume an internal affairs investigation was conducted over the matter. We'll let you know when we hear back.
Since Edwards-El seems to still be working on patrol, investigating things like assaults, the public can only hope he's fixed whatever issues led to his assault conviction and the county payout.