$4.5 million accepted by family of man killed by police

·2 min read

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The children of a Black man killed by police in Louisiana’s capital city five years ago have accepted a $4.5 million settlement with the local government.

Alton Sterling’s 2016 shooting by a Baton Rouge police officer was captured on video and sparked anger and protests in the city’s Black community.

Baton Rouge news outlets report that court documents show Sterling’s family asked that their lawsuit be dismissed in mid-May, signaling acceptance of the settlement approved about three months earlier by the Metro Council for Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish.

“This matter has been resolved,” Parish Attorney Andy Dotson said Friday in The Advocate. “And the settlement agreement made with the plaintiff will proceed as planned as voted upon by the council.”

The officer who shot Sterling during a struggle outside a convenience store lost his job and another officer was suspended. Neither was charged criminally after state and federal investigations.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sterling’s five children in 2017 by their mothers. It sought damages for violation of Sterling’s civil rights and claimed the local government was negligent in its hiring, training and supervision of Blane Salamoni, the officer who fired the six shots that killed Sterling.

The agreement will pay $1 million upfront to Sterling’s children from East Baton Rouge Parish's insurance reserve funds, WBRZ-TV reported, with the remaining money being paid in equal installments over the next four years.

The initial funds will be allocated from the city-parish’s Insurance Reserve Fund, with the remaining payments pulled from the annual operating budget.

Sterling was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police responding to a complaint of a man with a gun outside a convenience store on North Foster Drive in 2016. Widespread protests followed after cellphone video of the encounter was spread online.

The Associated Press

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