Man awarded $165,000 after altercation with Tampa Police

City settles out of court

TAMPA - Tampa City Council decided Thursday to settle a lawsuit, out of court, with a man who says he was beat up by four Tampa Police officers outside an Ybor nightclub in 2010.

By a unanimous vote, council members decided it best to award Jacob Cowie, who is deaf, $165,000.

Michael Maddux, Cowie's attorney, spoke with ABC Action News just after the decision was made.

"Obviously, you're not going to pay $165,000 if you didn't do something wrong," said Maddux.

Maddux said there was an altercation in a club on 7th Avenue that night. 

Cowie's friend and a bouncer got into it and Cowie was simply trying to break it up. 

That's when Maddux says a plain clothed, Tampa Police officer went straight to physical force against Cowie when he tried to break up it all up.

Cell phone video from that night shows Cowie slammed to the ground and being kicked twice by four Tampa Police officers.  The officers said they thought he was resisting.  Cowie's attorney says he couldn't hear their commands.

Either way, the incident has been resolved and Cowie's attorney said it means more than money. Th e police department has made two main protocol changes on the heels of the incident.

"They're not going to let undercover officers circulate in big crowds anymore," said Maddux. "Because that leads to misinterpretations on the part of the officers and then on the part of the citizens."

The Tampa Police Department also says they no longer allow the kick maneuver once acceptable with the department.  

The four officers involved are still on active duty, according to Tampa Police.

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