CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The city of Charlotte has reached a $2.25 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by the family of a black man shot to death by a white police officer in 2013.
City Attorney Bob Hagemann announced at a news conference Thursday that the Charlotte City Council unanimously approved the settlement with the family of Jonathan Ferrell. He said he expects the city to pay the family within a matter of days.
Hagemann said the settlement contains no admission of guilt.
“While we realize that money is an inadequate means of compensating Mr. Ferrell’s family, we feel that this was a fair and equitable settlement,” Hagemann said.
Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter said he didn’t know what effect, if any, the settlement would have on Officer Randall Kerrick’s upcoming trial.
Georgia Ferrell, the dead man’s mother, issued a statement saying the settlement comes with mixed emotions.
“We are grateful that this case has been resolved, but it is devastating to know that nothing we do will ever bring Jonathan back,” she said.
Attorney Chris Chestnut described the settlement as “a necessary gesture by the city.”
“This is an issue that obviously has affected a number of communities, but few to none have managed it as well as the city of Charlotte,” Chestnut said. “And I think that Charlotte will prove to be a leader in this arena in moving our country forward toward increased unity and improving relations between law enforcement and community citizens.”
Ferrell was a black man who was shot and killed in September 2013 after he wrecked his car and knocked on the door of a house to get help. The person in the house called police.
Investigators say Kerrick, who is white, was the only one of three officers who responded to use his gun. Investigators say Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit the unarmed Ferrell.
Defense attorneys for Kerrick issued a statement criticizing the settlement as being hasty.
“This rush to judgment also caused our elected City Officials, behind closed doors, to decide to spend precious (taxpayer) dollars on a civil settlement despite not having seen any of the evidence in this case and despite Officer Kerrick not having been found at all liable in the civil suit,” the statement said.
Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter. His trial is scheduled for July 20.
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