‘He Was Innocent’: South Carolina Man Choked, Left Bloodied By Cop In Wrongful Arrest Captured on Video Settles Lawsuit for Historic $500,000

Attorneys for Travis Price, a man who was wrongfully arrested more than two years ago, say their client has come to terms on a $500,000 settlement from his lawsuit against the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

On June 23, 2021, Price was driving home when he saw that his brother Ricky Price was being arrested at a gas station, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by Atlanta Black Star. He pulled into the parking lot and approached where cops were holding Ricky. The officers ordered Price to “stand by” while they removed Ricky’s handcuffs so they could give him his brother’s jewelry.

Simultaneously, according to the complaint, Rock Hill Officer Jonathan Moreno was executing a search of Ricky’s car. When he was finished, he approached the group and allegedly “attacked” Price “without cause of legal justification.” A bystander’s video shows Moreno on top of Price while he is lying on the concrete. The other officers struggle to restrain Ricky, who notices what is happening to his brother.

Travis Price Settles Lawsuit With City Of Rock Hill
Attorneys for Travis Price says he reached a $500,000 settlement with the city of Rock Hill on Tuesday. (Youtube/WCNC/Screenshot)

“[Price] was choked, physically assaulted, slammed to the pavement with great force, handcuffed, and placed under arrest,” the complaint says. “Throughout the assault, [Price] attempted on multiple occasions to inform Moreno that he was merely doing what the other City officers had instructed him to do, [Price] kept his hands in the air in a non-threatening manner, and [Price] at no time attempted to nor did he make physical contact with Moreno or any other officers. [Price] stated that he was complying, was not resisting arrest, and that he had not done anything wrong.”


Following the incident, Price was charged with hindering police but was later cleared of wrongdoing. 

His lawsuit said the city attempted to “disparage” his character in their statement about the incident. It noted that he was not cooperating and shoved officers as well as yelling belligerently. Per the filing, the city’s false statement was reported by media outlets and amplified by officials like Rep. Ralph Norman, who is also listed as a defendant in the complaint. Norman updated his post days later but, as the lawsuit says, failed to retract his original defamatory statement, which led to a wave of negative social media comments attacking Price. 

Officer Moreno was fired from the department and charged with assault. A jury found him not guilty last year. 

Price’s attorneys said Tuesday’s settlement is one of the largest in the city’s history, according to WCNC.

“Travis Price is pleased to have resolved this incredibly unfortunate situation with the city of Rock Hill. Mr. Price is a father of three and a family man whose reputation was unduly impacted following the incident by statements put out by the city of Rock Hill. He was innocent and this settlement will allow him to move forward and continue to work hard to provide for his family,” attorneys Justin Bamberg and Christy Fargnoli said in a statement. 

It continued: “Mr. Price’s motivation for filing a lawsuit was to ensure that no other innocent person has their reputation smeared by a city or police department. We are confident that that message will be delivered loud and clear today.”

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