Even though the officer’s shooting was deemed justified, family of Rayshard Brooks gets $1M settlement from city of Atlanta

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ATLANTA, GA – According to a report from Fox News, the widow of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks will be receiving a $1 million settlement from the city of Atlanta.

Brooks was fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer weeks after the death of George Floyd, during a time of violent riots throughout the country.

In August, the fatal shooting was deemed “objectively reasonable” and the charges brought forth against the officer were dropped.

Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia was appointed as a special prosecutor in Brooks’ case, and he determined that not only was the force justified, but that he does not believe race played a role in the shooting.

He said in a statement at the time:

“This isn’t one of those cases. This is a case in which the officers were willing to give Mr. Brooks every benefit of the doubt and, you know, unfortunately, by his actions, this is what happened.”

Brooks’ family expressed their disappointment in the decision to not bring any charges against the police officers involved. Lawyers for the family said in a statement:

“This grieving family has been through so much during this process. Although the children of Mr. Brooks have lost their father, settling the case will undoubtedly assist them with future plans as they come of age.”

They added:

“While we are disappointed that prosecutors didn’t pursue a criminal case against the officers involved in Mr. Brooks’ death, we continue to hold out hope that the Department of Justice will intervene in this matter.”

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On Monday, November 21st, the City Council voted 15-0 to approve the monetary settlement.

Both officers were still employed by the Atlanta Police Department and on administrative duty when the special prosecutor’s decision came out in August.

In Chicago, the City Council has given final approval for a $5 million settlement to the family of a 17-year-old who was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer in 2019.

City Council unanimously backed the $5 million settlement with Alice Martin and the City Council Finance Committee advanced the settlement when city attorneys laid out Martin’s lawsuit for alderpersons.

Chicago deputy corporation counsel Victoria Benson told aldermen on the Finance Committee that the officer who shot the teenager three times claimed that the boy, identified as Michael Elam Jr., got out of the car with a gun in his hand and that the officer believed Elam was pointing a gun at him, and was going to shoot.

This is why the officer stated that he shot Elam, however, the teenager’s family states that he was unarmed during the incident. When explaining why the city is seeking to settle the lawsuit, Benson told the aldermen:

“It is a he-said she-said. The question is whether Elam had a gun at the time.”

Benson said that while guns were recovered at the scene, in and near the vehicle, it still was not clear if Elam was holding a gun at any point during the encounter or at the time he was shot.

According to the family of Elam, the officer who shot their son did not activate his body camera as required and did not inform dispatchers of the shooting immediately, or request an ambulance until after the other officers arrived on scene.

The officer who shot Elam is facing disciplinary charges that could result in being fired from the force and his partner who was at the scene is facing a possible suspension.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) recommended that the officer be fired for shooting Elam, failing to turn on his body camera, failing to immediately notify dispatchers of the shooting, and failing to immediately request medical attention.

COPA also recommended that the officer’s partner be suspended for 30 days for failing to immediately request medical attention for Elam.

Police Superintendent David Brown disputed COPA’s findings that the shooting wasn’t justified and pushed for a 10-day suspension for both officers.

The City Council in Vancouver, Washington, has approved a $725,000 settlement in the justified police shooting of a man back in April 2020.

Even though the shooting was deemed lawful and justified by the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorneys’ Office, the man’s daughter filed a federal lawsuit in 2021 alleging wrongful death, negligence, assault and battery, and excessive force against the city of Vancouver and its officers.

The federal judge ordered the case dismissed after the two sides agreed to settle.

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