For the past few years, the United States has watched a very familiar pattern. A police officer in a city shoots a black man in a situation that is less than clear, people riot, the officer is acquitted and the family of the victim gets a ton of money from the city.
The latest family of a police shooting to become millionaires was the family of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez in St. Anthony, Minnesota, CNN reported.
The family reached an agreement with the city in which they would be paid a whopping $3 million dollars — even though a jury cleared the officer of any wrongdoing in a criminal trial just last week.
Apparently families are now being paid after police shootings. That’s … different.
“The parties moved expeditiously to resolve potential civil claims resulting from this tragedy in order to allow the process of healing to move forward for the Castile family, for the people of St. Anthony Village, and for all those impacted by the death of Philando Castile throughout the United States,” said a statement released by both the city and lawyers for Castile’s family.
Nothing helps the healing like a few million dollars, right?
“No amount of money could ever replace Philando. With resolution of the claims the family will continue to deal with their loss through the important work of the Philando Castile Relief Foundation,” the statement said.
ABC News reported that the money will be paid through the city’s insurance company.
So, everything’s settled for the family, the city and for everyone “throughout the United States” who was traumatized by the shooting, right? Including those who lost property in riots over Castile’s death that were hundreds or thousands of miles from the scene?
There’s just one problem. The officer who was charged in Castile’s death was acquitted by a jury of doing anything illegal in the shooting.
Reasonable people can disagree about what could happen in the course of a couple of seconds, but no reasonable person could think that a police officer living in a tense America would not have grounds to be wary during any traffic stop these days. When that same police officer is informed that the man he stopped has a gun, and when that man apparently repeatedly disobeys direct orders not to reach for the gun, it’s tough to fault him for reacting the way he did.
That’s what a jury of found when it acquitted Officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter in Castile’s death. And yet the city and its insurance company decided that that decision was worth $3 million to Castile’s family.
Castile isn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last, reasonable police shooting to end in a multi-million dollar payment.
CBS News reported that the parents of Michael Brown were set to receive $1.5 million after the city settled with them on Friday.
Just about every observer — including Eric Holder’s Justice Department — found former Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson was in legitimate fear of his life when he shot Brown in August of 2014.
I wonder if the Brown family will use the money to reimburse all those who lost property in the riots following Brown’s death. Or Castile’s family will do the same? After all, the statement about the settlement said it was for “all those impacted by the death of Philando Castile throughout the United States.”
How much of that $3 million is the family going to share?
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H/T The Daily Caller