Tag: police settlement

Activist and Police Shooting Survivor Leon Ford, 25, to Run for Pittsburgh City Council

Leon Ford speaks at Philander Smith College (Photo Credit: Instagram)

by Christina Santi via ebony.com

Activist Leon Ford, 25, who was shot and paralyzed by police in 2012, announced his bid for Pittsburgh City Council on Thursday, according to WTAE, Pittsburgh Action News 4.

“I have been speaking all over the country encouraging young people to not only vote, but to run for office,” Ford wrote in a statement. “I never considered running for office until I realized that I was one of the only voices bold enough to stand up for the people and speak truth to power.”

He will be running for a seat to represent District 9, which is now held by Rev. Ricky Burgess, who had held the position since 2007.

Ford was shot by detective David Derbish after a traffic stop. He later filed a civil rights lawsuit which was led to a $5.5 million settlement with the city. The council consented to the payout, but Rev. Burgess was absent for the vote.

The young activist went viral in 2017 after sharing a video of his son encouraging him to learn to walk again. The young boy can be heard saying, “Keep pushing. Don’t give up,” as he helps Ford with a walker.

Ford tweeted the sentimental moment, writing, “When you get shot by a police officer 5 times–and docs say that you will ever walk but your son says keep pushing.”

Ford said his campaign will focus on “restoring hope in our neighborhoods, creating new economic opportunities for our residents and healing one another to make all of our communities safe, vibrant, prosperous and livable for all.”

According to The Incline, Ford decided to embark on a political career after the fatal police shooting of Antwon Rose II, an unarmed 17-year-old, in East Pittsburgh in June.

“I’m a candidate now,” he told the publication. “I never considered running for public office. In fact, there was a time that I was against it, but now I’ve learned more about politics and policy and, it’s like, I’m tired of protesting and showing up at community meetings where the decisions are already made.”

Ford will host a campaign kickoff on Nov. 11, six years to the date of his shooting. Below is his TEDx Talk on”Turning Pain into Purpose”:

Source: https://www.ebony.com/news-views/police-shooting-survivor-running-pittsburgh-city-council

‘Englewood Four’ to Receive $31 Million in Settlement of Chicago Wrongful Conviction Case

Harold Richardson, from left, Vincent Thames, Terrill Swift and Michael Saunders were convicted of a 1994 rape and murder but later were cleared. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)

by Fran Spielman via chicagosuntimes.com

Four Englewood teenagers coerced into confessing to a rape and murder they did not commit before being exonerated by DNA evidence will divide a $31 million settlement from Chicago taxpayers, one of the largest in the city’s history.

Michael Saunders, Vincent Thames, Harold Richardson and Terrill Swift were between 15 and 18 when they were arrested for the November 1994 murder of Nina Glover. An autopsy concluded that the 30-year-old prostitute had been strangled. Her naked body was discovered behind a liquor store at 1400 W. Garfield wrapped in a bloody sheet and stuffed in a dumpster.

In 2011, a judge overturned the conviction of the “Englewood Four,” freeing Richardson and Saunders after they spent 17 years behind bars. Swift and Thames, who served more than a dozen years, had already been released.

“These were four young men who no way possible they could have committed the crime they were manipulated and coerced into confessing to. They all spent . . . over a decade in prison for something they didn’t do. The number is very large and the magnitude of the injury is very large,” said attorney Locke Bowman, who represented Swift.

Bowman said the $31 million settlement would not have been possible if former assistant state’s attorney Terence Johnson hadn’t “broken ranks from the other law enforcement personnel” and provided a statement to the FBI that confirmed what the Englewood Four had long maintained.

“This was psychological coercion primarily in all four of the cases. They were tricked and coerced into confessing . . . They were fed the information. And they were the victims of police overreaching,” Bowman said Friday.

Continue reading “‘Englewood Four’ to Receive $31 Million in Settlement of Chicago Wrongful Conviction Case”

University of Cincinnati to Pay $4.85 Million to Family of Samuel DuBose, Who Was Fatally Shot by Police

(Photo via cbs19.tv)
(Photo via cbs19.tv)

(CNN) The University of Cincinnati will pay $4.85 million to the family of Samuel DuBose, a man fatally shot by a school police officer, the family announced Monday at a press conference.

The school also agreed to set up a memorial to DuBose on campus, invite the family to take part in meetings on police reform and issue a formal apology, a press release from the family said.

The university will pay $4,850,000 to the family and also provide free undergraduate education to DuBose’s 12 children. the statement said. The education is valued about $500,000.

“The family is taking Martin Luther King’s words to heart,” Al Gerhardstein, a lawyer representing the family, said at the press conference, according to CNN afiliate WCPO. “He told us to be peaceful when we are faced with tragedy, and this family has worked peacefully over the last few months to resolve this terrible, terrible tragedy.”

Officer Ray Tensing fatally shot DuBose, 43, during a July 19 traffic stop over an alleged missing license tag.  The officer has said he was forced to fire his weapon after almost being run over. Authorities indicted Tensing on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges, partly because they felt body camera video contradicted his story.

The shooting outraged the African-American community in Cincinnati and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. DuBose was black and Tensing is white.  “I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make — totally unwarranted,” Deters said in the days after the shooting. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”

Tensing has pleaded not guilty and is free under $1 million bond. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for February 11, according to cincinnati.com.

When asked if the settlement indicated an acknowledgment of guilt from the university, UC attorney Nate Lampley Jr. said to WCPO, “It is an acknowledgment of a tragedy and an attempt to resolve it in a manner that was fair to both sides.”

According to the press release, University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono said, “I want to again express on behalf of the University of Cincinnati community our deepest sadness and regrets at the heartbreaking loss of the life of Samuel DuBose. This agreement is also part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities.”

article by Ralph Ellis via cnn.com

Walter Scott’s Relatives Reach $6.5 Million Settlement With City of North Charleston

Walter Scott (image via facebook.com)
Walter Scott (image via facebook.com)

The relatives of police shooting victim Walter Scott have reached a $6.5 million settlement with the city of North Charleston. According to CNN, the settlement was approved Thursday night by the North Charleston City Council.

“This is the largest settlement of this type case in the history of South Carolina,” said Brady Hair, North Charleston’s City Attorney.

Mayor Keith Summey appears to be pleased with the settlement.

“I’m glad the city and the family were able to reach a settlement without the necessity of a lawsuit,” said Summey.

According to the Scott family’s attorney, the money will be used to support Scott’s four children.

“He was a good father,” said his brother Anthony Scott. “People say how was he a good father and behind on child support? The system needs to be changed. There needs to be some things changed in the system, so there is a balance. His children loved him, and he loved his children.”

He continued:

“The city of Charleston’s actions have ensured that Walter did not die in vain,” he said. “The city sent a message, loud and clear, that this type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated.”

Scott was gunned down in April by former police officer Michael Slager following a routine traffic stop. Slager was indicted in Scott’s murder shortly after the shooting.

article by Jazmine Denise Rogers via madamenoire.com