The family of an unarmed black man shot in the back by a white police officer will get a $6.5 million settlement from North Charleston in South Carolina, city officials said on Thursday.
The man, Walter Scott, 50, was shot after fleeing a traffic stop in April. The shooting was caught on a bystander’s video and reignited a national outcry over police treatment of minorities.
North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey said in a statement that the City Council had voted to settle all potential claims over Scott’s death for $6.5 million.
“I am glad the city and the family were able to reach a settlement without the necessity of a lawsuit,” he said.
The police officer, Michael Slager, faces a murder charge in Scott’s death.
“It could have been a trillion dollars. It would never bring my son back. But I thank them for what they did,” Scott’s mother, Judy, said of the settlement.
Chris Stewart, an attorney for Scott’s family, said the payout was the largest pre-lawsuit settlement in the history of South Carolina and one of the largest in the United States.
He said it would take care of Scott’s four children for the rest of their lives.
The settlement comes after New York agreed to pay $5.9 million to the family of Eric Garner, whose death in 2014 after allegedly being put in a chokehold by an police officer was captured on bystander video.
Baltimore said last month it would pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, whose death from an injury in the back of a police transport van in April sparked protests and rioting. Six officers are charged in his death.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington and Barbara Liston in Orlando, Florida; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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