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A look at recent payouts in police custody deaths nationwide


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. _ A city in South Carolina approved a $6.5 million settlement Thursday with the family of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer.

The North Charleston City Council voted 10-0 in favour of the settlement with the family of Walter Scott.

Scott, 50, was fatally shot April 4 by North Charleston officer Michael Slager while trying to run from a traffic stop. A bystander recorded the shooting with a cellphone.

The settlement follows several other million-dollar-plus payouts in recent years involving police deaths. Among them:


FREDDIE GRAY: Baltimore reached a tentative $6.4 million settlement last month with the parents of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a critical spinal injury in the back of a transport van after his arrest and died a week later.

ERIC GARNER: New York City reached a $5.9 million settlement in July with the family of Garner, an unarmed black man who died after being put in a white police officer’s chokehold.

LaTANYA HAGGERTY: The city of Chicago settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Haggerty’s family in 2001 for $18 million. Haggerty, who was black, was shot to death by police when she was a passenger in a car that was chased by police in June 1999. Holding a cellphone, she was shot and killed by officer Serena Daniels. The officer, who is black, said she mistook a shiny object in Haggerty’s hand for a weapon.

RICARDO DIAZ-ZEFERINO: The families of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino and two other men agreed to accept $4.7 million from the city of Gardena, California. Diaz-Zeferino’s death in June 2013 occurred after the three were mistaken for robbery suspects and three officers opened fire. Diaz-Zeferino’s family received $2.8 million in February. Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez, who was wounded, received $1.7 million. The third man, who was unharmed, received $200,000. Diaz-Zeferino was Latino.

JONATHAN FERRELL: His family agreed to a $2.25 million settlement with the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, after a white police officer fatally shot their unarmed, black son in September 2013.

JORGE AZUCENA: The mother of a man who died of an asthma attack while in the custody of Los Angeles police received a $1.35 million settlement in March. Jorge Azucena, 26, died about 40 minutes after he was taken into custody after running a red light in South Los Angeles in September 2013.

MICHAEL BROWN: A federal wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Brown’s parents over his fatal shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer won’t go to trial for at least another year. Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden are suing the city of Ferguson, its former police chief and the white ex-officer, Darren Wilson, who killed the 18-year-old Brown in August 2014. Brown was African-American.

TAMIR RICE: A federal judge in June delayed part of a civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of a 12-year-old black boy fatally shot by two white Cleveland police officers, citing concern for the officers’ rights against self-incrimination as a criminal investigation proceeded. Tamir Rice had an airsoft gun that shoots nonlethal plastic pellets when an officer shot him outside a recreation centre last November.

The Associated Press

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