It turns out there is more to Greensboro’s $95,000 settlement with Dejuan Yourse than was previously released.
The Greensboro City Council agreed to pay Dejuan Yourse a $95,000 settlement after he filed a complaint about being arrested on his mother’s front porch, which resulted in the two arresting officers resigning and the city apologizing to Yourse.
The City Council viewed the police body-worn camera video of Yourse being arrested, and the scuffle where one police officer struck Yourse in the face, before offering the apology. The video of the arrest was also released to the public and there were a lot of public comments at City Council meetings about Yourse being mistreated by the police.
Last month, Yourse was back in court facing 12 counts of failure to appear, charges of assault on a female, assault on an unborn child, assault by strangulation, assault and battery, driving while his license was revoked, reckless driving and speeding, and Yourse faces additional charges in Alamance County.
When Yourse appeared in court, he asked for a court appointed attorney. The court appoints attorneys who are paid by the state for people who cannot afford to hire their own attorneys. The court noted that Yourse had received a settlement of $95,000 from the City of Greensboro and that he didn’t qualify for a court appointed attorney.
Yourse reportedly said that he didn’t get all the money from that settlement, and he was telling the truth.
The $95,000 settlement was paid by Greensboro under unusual conditions set by the City Council, which were revealed when the city recently released the minutes of the closed session meeting where it was decided.
In the closed session, when the City Council was considering the settlement, the council was told that Yourse owed over $31,000 in back child support payments.
City Councilmember Mike Barber said that when that came up, “I said, I cannot agree to any settlement unless we first satisfy the full amount Yourse is in arrears on his child support payments.”
The majority of the City Council liked the idea of requiring that Yourse become current on his child support payments and agreed with Barber.
However, Councilmember Justin Outling made the motion that the $95,000 settlement be paid without any stipulation that Yourse pay his back child support payments. That motion failed on a 2-to-7 vote with Councilmembers Outling and Jamal Fox voting in favor.
Outling reportedly argued that it was unfair to put conditions on the settlement with Yourse when similar conditions were not put on other settlements made by the city.
After Outling’s motion failed, Councilmember Sharon Hightower made a motion that the $95,000 settlement be paid with the stipulation that the back child support be paid in full, and that motion passed 6 to 3, with Councilmembers Outling, Fox and Tony Wilkins voting no.
Wilkins said he voted no because he didn’t want to pay Yourse anything and Outling and Fox voted no because they didn’t agree with forcing Yourse to pay his back child support.
So Barber joined all the women on the City Council – Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Councilmembers Hightower, Yvonne Johnson, Marikay Abuzuaiter and Nancy Hoffmann – in supporting the child support payment.
Attorneys familiar with the case said that after paying child support and attorneys fees, Yourse probably ended up with about $30,000 of the $95,000 settlement.
Yourse was arrested by Greensboro police when he was sitting on his mother’s front porch, but as with everything in this case it’s more complicated than that.
The police were responding to a call from a neighbor who said she had seen someone trying to break into the house by trying to pry the garage door open with a shovel.
When asked by police what he was doing with the shovel, Yourse said he was using the shovel to see if his dog was in the garage. Yourse said that the house at 2 Mystywood Court was his mother’s house, but at the time the police didn’t know whether that was true or just some story like using a shovel to look for a dog.
The whole situation changed after Yourse was asked for his driver’s license.
At first said he didn’t have it, but then he found it in his pocket. Yourse had outstanding warrants for his arrest, something else the police didn’t know at the time.
After handing over his driver’s license, Yourse tried to leave the porch and said he wanted to go to a neighbor’s house; then he made a phone call saying that the police were harassing him and he needed help.
At that point, Officer Travis Cole attempted to take Yourse’s phone away from him and a scuffle ensured, during which Cole struck Yourse in the face.
Officer Charlotte Jackson, who had been in her car trying to verify that the home did belong to Yourse’s mother, assisted Cole in the arrest. Yourse continued to struggle, ending up face down in the grass in the front yard with both officers holding him down.
At the time the officers didn’t know whether the house belonged to Yourse’s mother or not, and if they had it might not have helped Yourse’s case because his mother had reported a break-in at her home some time earlier in the year and told police that she suspected her son was the one who had broken in.
And there is no dog.