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Florida sheriff won’t pay man left paralyzed by deputy

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff’s office says it has not settled a lawsuit and won’t pay millions to a black man who became a quadriplegic when a deputy shot him.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Tuesday saying it would oppose paying 25-year-old Dontrell Stephens more than the $200,000 it has already paid him. That contradicts a Monday story by The Palm Beach Post saying the lawsuit had been settled.

Sgt. Adams Lin shot Stephens in 2013 after stopping him for riding his bike into traffic, saying he mistook Stephens’ cellphone for a gun.

A federal jury in 2016 ordered the sheriff’s office to pay Stephens $22 million but under Florida law, government agencies cannot pay more than $200,000 without the Legislature’s approval. The sheriff’s office said Tuesday it would oppose such a bill.

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