Walnut Ridge settles railroad worker lawsuit

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – The City of Walnut Ridge voted to settle the lawsuit with the railroad worker who was shown attacked in the video from 2016.

Attorney Mark Rees, representing BNSF worker Adam Finley, made the settlement offer last Friday, he told NEA Report. The settlement will cost taxpayers $57,500.

Of that, $28,750 will come from the Walnut Ridge general fund. The Arkansas Municipal League will pay the remainder.

“I’m happy with that settlement,” Rees said. “It turned out to be a little more than a nuisance.”

The Walnut Ridge City Council approved the settlement at their regularly planned meeting Monday night. Although this was not on the agenda, it was placed on the agenda last-minute in a 3 PM email sent out to media contacts.

The case has attracted national attention. Officer Matthew Mercado resigned in Feb. 2017, months after the incident seen in the video. However, the controversy seemed to stir not because of the incident seen below – but because of what happened when the man tried filing a complaint: Finley was written two tickets by then-police chief Chris Kirksey.

Kirksey ended up resigning for his part in the debacle.


  1. What a sick joke. That dudes attorney should be barred from representing the downtrodden.
    And what a flippant statement by the lawyer-who I would’ve sworn must represent the city by his statements & tone… “little more than a nuisance”???? So that’s where he rates bullying citizens & stomping all over a man’s rights. Am I missing something here?? Paul McCartney ought to buy the sorry town, remove the Beatles museum & fire the entire lot!!

    • I think that you read the comments too quickly and got it ass-backwards. Not “…little more than a nuisance” but rather “It turned out to be A [emphasis supplied] little more than a nuisance.” In other words, in context, Mr. Rees was defending the victim’s lawsuit as being much more, than a simple, frivolous, unadulterated, nuisance-type lawsuit that the city would just settle to make it go away.

      However, I am also struck by the seemingly ridiculous low settlement amount after such an extended period of malicious abuse of authority and Mr. Finley’s constitutional rights by the city and its police department, from top to bottom. Perhaps the buck goes a lot further in Walnut Ridge but everywhere I’ve lived that settlement amount wouldn’t have covered the first 5 minutes of verbal abuse by the disgraced officer to say nothing of the unconstitutional seizure of Mr. Finley’s person, the unconstitutional search of his truck, the punitive and retaliatory citations when Mr. Finley’s attempting to file a complaint (which can also be seen on camera), the slander and false statements by the police chief to Mr. Finley’s wife (that allegedly contributed to the breakup of that marriage), the all-but-certain slanderous statements by Ms Hall maligning Mr. Finley’s character further, and the apparent, at-bare-minimum technical violations of FOIA that would impair free speech rights by multiple parties.

      • You’re exactly right! That lawyer did not do his job in representing his client if he didn’t tell him that they could get much more by going to court. Any jury seeing that footage and then hearing what they did to cover it and falsely accuse the victim would be so outraged that they probably would award millions.]So sad he gave in so easily.

  2. It was not necessarily a low settlement for that venue. Your “Any jury” comment is wrong; the jury pool in that venue would be predominately right wing “law and order” hicks with strong pro-police bias. In Oakland or NYC or Chicago, the settlement value would be higher.The plaintiff’s attorney was being sarcastic, poking fun at the city’s prior “nuisance case” statement. It was a well deserved “ha ha” to the city, an endzone dance.

  3. Noticed no one has commented on that Ofc. Mercado wears a white supremacist tattoo on his left forarm … Just an observation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.