CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. – The family of a Clayton County basketball player who died after participating in practice in extreme heat has reached a record settlement with the school district.
Imani Bell’s family agreed to a $10 million settlement with Clayton County Schools. Attorneys for the Bell family say the settlement is one of the largest of its kind in high school athletics history. The gymnasium at Elite Sports Academy will also be renamed in Bell’s memory at 4 p.m
What the Bell family has to say about the record showdown, for Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m
Channel 2’s Tom Jones has followed Bell’s case since his sources first told him of her death on August 13, 2019.
Bell’s parents said the 16-year-old teenager was forced to do conditioning exercises outdoors on one of the hottest days of the summer in 2019. The heat index made it even hotter.
A 2019 Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy found Bell suffered from hyperthermia and rhabdomyolysis after training in temperatures that reached as high as 97 degrees with a heat index of 103 degrees.
Eric Bell, Imani’s father, told Jones that the coaches were negligent and that someone needed to be held accountable. He said he is also a coach and would never send his students into the scorching heat that led to his daughter’s death.
In July 2021, a grand jury indicted Larosa Walker-Asekere and Dwight Palmer for second-degree murder, second-degree child abuse, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. According to Bell’s family, Walker-Asekere and Palmer were two of her coaches.
Attorney Justin Miller said the charges were huge news as coaches are not usually charged in incidents like this.
“This is only the second time in history that a coach has been charged in this way and the first time a coach has ever been charged with murder,” he said last August.
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