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Sheriff's department settles with Strickland family

READ MORE: Sheriff Causey's statement regarding Strickland settlement
WILMINGTON -- It's been more than a year since a New Hanover County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a Cape Fear Community College student, 18-year-old Peyton Strickland, in a bungled raid on the victim's home. Today there's a resolution in the long-disputed case. Strickland's family and New Hanover County agreed on a $2.45 million settlement Tuesday. Along with the monetary settlement Sheriff Sid Causey also agreed to have a consultant come in to review the policies and procedures of the sheriff's emergency response team. Former Deputy Chris Long was part of that team when it tried to serve an arrest and search warrant at Strickland's home in December of 2006. Strickland was a suspect in the theft of a Playstation 3 game from another UNCW student. Long confused the sound of a battering ram hitting the door for gunshots and shot through the door, hitting Strickland in the head. Long, a ten-year veteran of the force, was fired after the incident but cleared of any wrong doing by a grand jury. Wednesday the sheriff issued an apology to Strickland's family. Causey said, "First and foremost, I would like to issue an apology to the Strickland family. I cannot imagine the immense sorrow the Strickland family must continue to feel but they will forever be in my thought and prayers." The Stricklands said they have accepted Causey's apology and plan to spend all $2.45 million on charities and a foundation in Strickland's name. The county will have to pay $25,000 of the settlement. The settlement agreement will be presented to county commissioners at a March 10 meeting.
Family's statement We accept the sincere apology of Sheriff Sid Causey. We also appreciate Sheriff Causey's public acknowledgment that Peyton was unarmed and posed no threat as he answered his front door. We believe Peyton's death would have been prevented if the Sheriff's Department had better Emergency Response Team policies and procedures. We are therefore gratified that Sheriff Causey has agreed to have his Department's ERT policies and procedures evaluated and that he is committed to identifying and implementing changes that may help save lives. It is also our hope that other law enforcement agencies around the state will learn from this tragedy. We look forward to creating The Peyton Brooks Strickland Foundation. By its work, the Foundation will reflect Peyton's generosity of spirit and compassion in its charitable work in New Hanover County and elsewhere. Peyton is gone. Nothing can bring him back. We are, however, thankful for the New Hanover County Sheriff Department's efforts to right its wrong and in doing so to help us ensure Peyton's legacy. Don and Kathy Strickland February 27, 2008

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Causey needs to go

Why not call for the resignation of Causey? Since when does a county of good people not hold someone accountable for the death of an unarmed 18 year old? Causey admitted his fault so why wont he resign? We need to sign this Petition

Your Petition is a joke.

Your Petition is a joke. First of all, the DA won't sign off on it because he knows he will not be re-elected afterwards. Secondly, half the petition is from an anonymous source so those signatures mean nothing. And thirdly, half of those that signed the petition have criminal backgrounds. Who is going to listen to them. It's still a sad place we live in when people can't take responsibility for their own actions and have to blame someone else for whats wrong in their life.

Petition to remove Causey from office

Wilmman all youneed is 5 signatures and approved by the county attorney or DA. The county attorney answers to the commssioners. The commssioners answer to us. There is a election coming up. You've seen and heard the public opinion, they are calling for Causey's head. North Carolina statute that allows for a resident superior court judge to rule on any petition brought by five or more citizens and approved by either the county attorney or district attorney. "The statute provides for the various factors that could cause a sheriff to be removed." According to that statute, those include: Willful or habitual neglect or refusal to perform the duties of his office Willful misconduct or maladministration in office Corruption Extortion Upon conviction of a felony Intoxication, or upon conviction of being intoxicated. The procedure is neither a criminal nor civil one and does not require a jury. I think it wouldn't be difficult to prove, Willful misconduct or Maladministration in office , all we would need is the County Attorney or District Attorney to sign off on it. After all the county basically admitted liability when they settled with the Stricklands for a record amount of money. The county has a liability issue at stake. Showing a corrective attempt at fixing the problem may go a long way in the penalty phase, in the pending federal case regarding Gary Rummer. I seriously doubt the DA will sign on. It would be a political mess for him. Both Democrats, both elected officials, not many have the nerve to do something like that. But the County Attorney would be showing good faith to a jury that the county is trying to correct a situation that has caused at least two deaths in less than 5 years. After all this man receives 30 million dollars of tax payer money and hands us an unarmed dead teenager as his legacy. If this was the only time death came as a result of improper training and authority it would be one thing, but there is a history here. Time to round up the troops and make a go at getting rid of this man and his staff. Five signatures is all that is needed.



Good Luck with

Good Luck with much you willing to bet this petition will do very little? There are 147 signatures on that petition. Why hasn't anything been done? If you only need 5, then the 147 should be enough. The fact is nothing has been done and nothing will be done. Otherwise something would already would have happened

It amazes me how it is

It amazes me how it is contiunally overlooked that there was wrong doing on both sides, not just the sheriffs department. The Sheriffs dep was there that night for a reason. It just had a very unfortunate outcome.

The dept was not there for

The dept was not there for the "right reason." The ERT was there b/c some arrogant arses felt that Mr. Strickland was a threat based upon an internet profile. Supposedly well informed, capable decision makers, used their skills of discrimination to determine that this child was a threat based upon a few photos. People tried to warn them... no one listened. Welcome to New Hanover County. Your children (and other people's children) are NOT the highest priority here.

Why exactly was the

Why exactly was the department not there for the "right" reason? There was a picture of a suspect with weapons (who's to say it was for play), the assault that took place was done with a weapon, one of the other boys that was arrested had a loaded shotgun in his truck, and there was drug paraphernalia inside the house and the SC has ruled that where there are drugs you can expect to find weapons. I'm not defending Long or what took place, but the ERT team had every right to be there. Also, the ERT members are the one's that serve warrants, not the regular street deputy

ERT had no business being there

Everything you said is wrong. Had there have been a weapon the boys convicted of the crime would have been convicted of armed robbery instead of common law robbery. The picture of the "suspect" with a weapon was NOT Peyton Strickland. The kid in the picture DID NOT LIVE with Peyton and they knew it, Ryan lived ON CAMPUS! When Ryan was arrested, according to the Star News, there was no gun in his truck. The autopsy showed that Peyton had no drugs in his system and marijuana remains in your body for up to one month. Where there are drugs there are weapons? Are you nuts? What house doesnt have a weapon of some kind? Kitchen knives and beer bottles have killed more people than guns. Yes ERT serves warrants for the sheriff but they dont always serve warrants in SWAT gear. Long said he mistook the sound of a battering ram for a gun shot. He claimed his hearing was impared from the earpiece, helmet and hood. This was not a dangerous knock and talk. The kid was unarmed. Long should have not been in full gear. By the way, according to the 911 call TWO people jumped Justin Raines and took two Playstations from him, TWO people pleaded guilty to doing it. Who else was there?


Almost a year and a half goes by and this Sheriff is only now offering an me that is an insult...only now after theres a settlement this guy is sorry that his trigger happy deputy shot and killed an unarmed man.. shaking my head..he should resign welderpat

He apologized for the mess

He apologized for the mess around when it all happened, sorta. I'm glad the family got the settlement, but nothing will ever change the travesty will it?

Just another wonderful

Just another wonderful chapter to one of the most corrupt police forces thats NOT located in New York or Los Angeles.

I wouldn't compare the

I wouldn't compare the corruption in the New Hanover Co. Sheriff's Department to the police forces of NY & LA; that would be disproportionately unfair to those two cities' LEOs. Wilmington PD as an organization has far more integrity. Those sheriffs - some of those people just scare the hell out of me. And I'm a law-abiding citizen. In fairness I do appreciate the services provided by LEOs. I recognize that it takes a special kind of person to be a LEO, and that most are inherently good people. But we need to clean house around here! much

are we, the taxpayers of New Hanover County, going to pay for the "consultant" that Sid has agreed to work with during the evaluation of his ERT? It's bad enough that we, the taxpayers, have to pay the $25,000 deductible, but once again, the taxpayers end up footing the bill for the Sheriff's Department inadequacey. Take the "consultant" cost as well as the $25,000 deductible out of Sid's budget for next year and tell him to run his department on a tight budget. No more correctional officers for his jail and no additional deputies to patrol an ever-shrinking patrol area. We can only hope that someone will step up to the plate and run against Sid and remove him from office.