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Parents Settle Suits in Son’s Death

June 11, 1998

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The parents of a black man who died after being stopped by police have settled wrongful death suits against three Pittsburgh suburbs and five white officers for $1.5 million.

``We felt it was time to settle,″ William King, the attorney for Jonny L. and Narves Gammage, said Tuesday. ``It at least gives them something they can live with.″

None of the defendants in the lawsuit admitted wrongdoing in the death of Jonny Gammage. The suburbs of Brentwood, Whitehall and Baldwin will each pay one-third of the settlement.

James Perich, an attorney who represents Brentwood, did not respond to calls for comment Wednesday.

The Gammages sued the three boroughs, their mayors, their police chiefs and five officers who were on the scene when their son, Jonny, asphyxiated.

Gammage, 31, of Syracuse, N.Y., died in a struggle with police during a traffic stop in October 1995. Three officers were tried on charges of involuntary manslaughter. One was acquitted, while proceedings involving the other two ended in mistrials.

Gammage was a cousin and business partner of Ray Seals, a professional football player who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time.

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