Harrison County

Here’s how much Biloxi paid Boosie to settle a lawsuit. He fought to keep it secret.

The city of Biloxi paid Boosie Badazz, his niece and his security guard $5,000 to settle the lawsuit they filed after being pepper sprayed at Dillard’s department store in April 2017.

Boosie had performed the previous evening during black spring break and was shopping with his entourage at Edgewater Mall. For reasons unknown, the group was asked to leave.

First, Boosie said in sworn pretrial testimony, he wanted to pick up a Polo shirt at Dillard’s. The security officer on duty, Glen Kerley, had been told the group was supposed to leave the mall. When Kerley encountered resistance, he said, he pepper sprayed them so they would disburse and leave.

In the lawsuit, Boosie identified Kerley as a Biloxi police officer, but Kerley was working as a Dillard’s employee. A Biloxi officer did respond as the encounter grew more intense, escalating into a meleé once Kerley was able to move the crowd outside.

The Biloxi officer did not involve himself directly in the dispute, pretrial testimony indicated.

Boosie and the two others also sued Dillards, and the mall’s management and security companies. They settled the case in January with all the parties but Dillard’s.

The settlements with the private companies — Weiser Security Services and management company Jim Wilson & Associates — are confidential under the terms of the agreements.

Boosie also fought to keep secret the settlement amount Biloxi paid, but the Mississippi Public Records Act requires the city to release government records, including court settlements.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden declined to rule on Boosie’s request to keep the settlement secret. The judge said he had dismissed the case after it was settled and no longer had jurisdiction.

Anita Lee is a Mississippi native who specializes in investigative, court and government reporting. She has covered South Mississippi’s biggest stories in her decades at the Sun Herald, including the Dixie Mafia, public corruption and Hurricane Katrina, a Pulitzer Prize-winning effort. Nothing upsets her more than government secrecy and seeing people suffer.
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