LAPD Set To Give $8 Million To Three Shooting Victims' Families

settlementThe LAPD has faced its fair share of criticism in recent years for fatally shooting three unarmed young men. Most recently, 29-year-old Brendon Glen was shot and killed in 2015 by the police on Venice Beach. Also in 2015, an officer shot and killed the 35-year-old Sergio Navas in Burbank. Before these fatalities, 25-year-old Reginald Doucet Jr. was shot in 2011.

All three of these shootings caused major uproar in the local community. Many locals gathered outside City Hall to protest what they perceived to be excessive police brutality.

In an attempt the begin to heal the wounds between the LAPD and the families of slain loved ones, LA's city council just announced they will pay over $8 million to settle all three of the lawsuits surrounding these men. This is the highest amount paid by LA's city council in the past decade.

Brendon Glen's family will reportedly get $4 million, Navas's family will receive $2.5 million, and Doucet's family will get $1.65 million. The vote at City Council came in at 12-1 to fund this $8 million by issuing judgment obligation bonds. Once the council officially decides to issue these bonds, they will need to take another vote next year to send them out.

Paul Koretz, a Democratic Los Angeles Councilman representing the Fifth Council District, made a public statement about this recent spate of fatal LAPD shootings. Koretz said he feels these recent shootings are "very distressing." He went on to say, "It seems like we're going in the wrong direction, and it appears that police departments across the country are having the same problem."

Koretz was referring to reports of increased racial profiling in police departments across the USA. Some critics believe police departments are unfairly profiling African Americans. Both Glenn and Doucet were African Americans.

In order to address this issue in LA, the Los Angeles civilian board has been getting more active in suggesting policy changes for the LAPD. A few measures the civilian board is interested in include changing training programs, including courses on how to handle situations without lethal force, and changing some of the department's rules on how to handle police brutality.

Economic analysts believe using judgment obligation bonds is the best way for Los Angeles to pay off these lawsuits. Los Angeles has used this borrowing tactic before in 2007 to handle issues of police misconduct, and economists believe Los Angeles must use the bonds in order to have enough money on reserve in case of a recession.

The $4 million going to Glenn's family will go to both Glenn's mother and his 4-year-old son. His payment is so much higher than the others because the LAPD Chief Charlie Beck pushed for criminal charges against the officer that fatally shot Glenn.

Glenn was shot during an altercation on the popular Venice boardwalk in May of 2015. Apparently Officer Clifford Proctor thought Glenn was reaching for another LAPD officer's holster. This is what led Proctor to fatally shoot Glenn.

A memo sent to City Council claims that Glenn was only reaching behind him. Also, a video of the alteraction between Glenn and Officer Proctor purportedly shows Glenn reaching nowhere in the direction of the LAPD officer's holster. This video has yet to be released to the public.

In the case of Navas, Officer Brian Van Gorden was following Navas in a car chase that ended up in Burbank. They were following Navas for speeding. Suddenly, Navas stopped his car at a dead-end street. Van Gorden told reporters he believed Navas was trying to ambush him. Once Navas got out of the car and started walking towards the police, Van Gorden opened fire.

In Navas's case, the money will go to both his parents and his children.

The shooting of Doucet occurred in January of 2011 in Playa Vista. Officers went to this location on reports a passenger stealing a ride from a taxi driver. The customer, Doucet, was found naked on the sidewalk. Once the officers put the handcuffs on him, Doucet punched Officer Aaron Goff and fled the scene.

Goff and his partner ran after Doucet and tried to hold him down. Doucet kept pushing the officers away and even tried to grab one of the officers' guns. While the other officer was struggling to fend off Doucet, Goff drew his gun and shot Doucet.

Doucet's family believes using the gun in this case was excessive. They believe this tragedy could have been averted if the officer just used his Taser gun.

Goff was found justified in his use of deadly force. LA's district attorney has not charged Officer Goff, saying he did what was necessary and was done in the name of self-defense.

The settlement in this case will go to Doucet's 8-year-old daughter. Family members will most likely set up a college fund for the little girl.

Posted December 12, 2016
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