City agrees to pay $900K for death of Alaska Native man in jail cell

A view of Hooper Bay, Alaska. Photo by Thester11 via Wikipedia

The family of Louis Bunyan, an Alaska Native man who died while in police custody, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit.

The family accepted a little under $900,000 from the city of Hooper Bay, Alaska Dispatch News reported. The agreement resolves a long-running dispute over who was responsible for Bunyan's death in a jail cell in July 2011.

"I miss my son every day and wish he was still here. I pray his death helps others know -- they have to watch, closely, those they take into jail," Judy Bunyan said in a statement to Alaska Dispatch News.

Louis Bunyan was 21 years old when he committed suicide in the jail cell on July 28, 2011. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the city was partially responsible because police officers failed to check on him in a timely manner.

The Coastal Villages Region Fund, a non-profit serving Native villages along the west coast of Alaska, administers the Louis Bunyan Memorial Scholarship in Bunyan's honor.

Get the Story:
Wrongful death lawsuit against Hooper Bay ends with $900K settlement (Alaska Dispatch News 1/20)

Alaska Supreme Court Decision:
City of Hooper Bay v. Judy Bunyan (September 11, 2015)

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