Family of Black man shot 22 instances by white law enforcement officials settles lawsuit

Martinsburg (US), July 23

A West Virginia metropolis has agreed to settle an extreme power lawsuit filed by the household of a homeless Black man who was shot 22 instances by police, an legal professional stated.

Christopher E Brown, the legal professional for the household of Wayne Arnold Jones, advised The Washington Post that the lawsuit was settled for $3.5 million.

“I promised my mother before she died that we would continue to fight for justice,” Jones’ brother, Bruce Jones, advised the newspaper. “The settlement makes me feel a little bit better, but until I can have a chance to have these cops prosecuted, I am still going to be pushing for justice.”

The Martinsburg Police Department stated in an announcement that the settlement was not an request for forgiveness.

Police had stopped Wayne Jones as he was strolling on a Martinsburg road. Jones was shot after police stated the 50-year-old Stephens City, Virginia, resident shrugged off two jolts from a stun gun, fought with officers and stabbed one in all them. The officers are white.

US District Judge Gina Groh had dismissed the lawsuit. But a three-member federal appeals courtroom panel reversed the granting of abstract judgment to the officers on certified immunity grounds final month, saying that “a reasonable jury could find that Jones was both secured and incapacitated in the final moments before his death”.

The courtroom additionally referenced the Memorial Day dying of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis after white police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for a number of minutes.

That dying prompted protests by hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe. The appeals panel famous: “Although we recognise that our police officers are often asked to make split-second decisions, we expect them to do so with respect for the dignity and worth of black lives. This has to stop.”

The police division’s assertion stated town’s insurance coverage service agreed to the settlement to keep away from the continuing prices of litigation together with the stress {that a} trial would convey to the officers and the households of the officers and Jones.

The metropolis of Martinsburg stated within the assertion that “with this settlement, the City and the MPD hope everyone involved will be able to put this incident behind them and allow the community to heal.”

A Berkeley County grand jury declined to indict the officers within the capturing. The US Justice Department later stated there was inadequate proof to pursue legal civil rights costs towards police. Civil rights leaders had pressed for the investigation.

The Jones household has filed a separate attraction in state courtroom searching for a grand jury investigation, Brown stated.

“The fact that I could tell my client that we still have a shot at criminal prosecution made the (settlement) figure very acceptable,” Brown stated. AP

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