City of Bethel Settles For $175,000 Over Violent Arrest

The City of Bethel has settled with Wassillie Gregory, a man who was violently arrested by a Bethel Police Officer in 2014. Bill Ingaldson, an attorney hired by the City says the settlement was dispersed last week.

“The settlement amount was $175,000, that includes his medical expenses which he had a dislocated shoulder and ended up having surgery on his shoulder so those were pretty expensive around $80,000. The settlement was agreed to about three or four weeks ago and consummated last week,” said Ingaldson.

The arrest took place in the parking lot of the Bethel Alaska Commercial Store on July 12th, 2014. The officer, Andrew Reid, was fired from the Bethel Police Department in March.

Gregory was originally charged with harassing the officer and pleaded guilty without the assistance of an attorney in a deal to drop two other charges. His conviction was overturned by a Bethel judge in May after surveillance video of the incident surfaced showing the officer repeatedly slamming Gregory to the ground.

The Bethel District Attorney’s office has turned the case over to the FBI. The City of Bethel was contacted for this story but did not want to go on tape and said only their lawyer could comment on the matter.

Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage.

Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email.

Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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