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$690,000 Settlement In Mississippi No-Knock Raid Death

A family seeking justice for the death of a Mississippi man killed during a no-knock raid by the Monroe County sheriff's department has agreed to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit for $690,000. The settlement came several months after the Washington Post’s “Broken Doors” podcast investigated the case of Ricky Keeton and examined the prevalence of no-knock drug raids in the rural community of roughly 35,000 residents, the Post reports. Around 1 a.m one night in 2015, a SWAT team fired dozens of bullets into Keeton’s mobile home after the 57-year-old appeared at the door with a pellet gun. His longtime girlfriend said Keeton had been awakened by banging outside and had no idea it was law enforcement. Deputies said Keeton fired first. The Post’s investigation into no-knock raids — one of the most aggressive and intrusive policing tactics — revealed broader accusations that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office had abused its power and violated the rights of residents. There were complaints of corruption, sexual misconduct, and excessive force. The allegations against head narcotics officer Eric Sloan drew the scrutiny of state investigators and the FBI.

In June 2016, Keeton’s daughters, including Robbie Geiger, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Sloan and the county. Geiger agreed to the settlement after a judge excluded from evidence allegations of wrongdoing by Sloan, who was never charged and has denied wrongdoing. Former Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell appeared on local news after the shooting and said Keeton had opened fire on deputies — and that they found drugs, which Cantrell suggested were linked to a Mexican drug cartel. The allegations were denied by Keeton's family, who said Keeton was in poor health and lived in a modest trailer with his girlfriend. Deputies had taken three months to submit the drugs they said they’d found in Keeton’s trailer to a crime lab, which identified about seven ounces total of amphetamine and methamphetamine.


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