Atlanta settles over Buckhead bar scuffle involving officer

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

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ATLANTA —

The Atlanta City Council agreed to pay a Buckhead bar customer thousands of dollars after he said an Atlanta police officer beat him with a baton.

"They essentially had to staple my skull back together," Chris Putnam told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman.

Putnam, who moved to New York, said the incident happened in 2008. He said his case has been lingering in the courts for years. On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved a settlement agreement, which awards Putnam $50,000 in damages for the civil right violations.

"I am just glad this is over with, and we can move on," Putnam said.

According to the lawsuit filed by his attorney, Putnam was kicked out of Red Door Tavern on Roswell Road in Buckhead for being too loud. Officer Bradley was working security for the bar at the time.

According to the complaint, Putnam "insinuated Officer Bradley was a 'rent-a-cop' and not a 'real' police." The complaint goes on to say that Bradley beat him several times with his baton.

"Even if Mr. Putnam was mouthing off to the police officer, it was excessive force, he didn't need to hit him," said Jim Ford, who is Putnam's attorney. Putnam also admitted he was intoxicated at the time.

So far, calls to Bradley have not been returned. He was fired from the Atlanta Police Department on other unrelated misconduct allegations. At the time of the case, Bradley said that Putnam came at him with fists. Putnam's attorney said he never physically threatened the officer.

The case is just one of at least 68 cases against the Atlanta Police Department that the city settled within the last year, amounting to more than $1.7 million of taxpayer money. These cases include accusation of civil rights violations, but also encompass incidents like officer-involved car accidents.

Mayor Kasim Reed can either sign off, veto the settlement or let it take effect.