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Washington D.C. Reaches Settlement With Family of Terrence Sterling

The family of an unarmed Black man killed by a Washington D.C. cop has settled their civil suit against the district’s police.

Thirty-one-year-old Terrence Sterling was involved in a Sept. 2016 police chase when officer Brian Trainer fatally shot him. Although initially suing the city for $50 million, Wednesday, Fox 5 reported Sterling’s family will receive a $3.5 million settlement. The 27-year-old cop had been on the force for four years at the time of the fatal shooting.

In December, D.C.’s Use of Force Review Board ruled Sterling’s killing was unjustified. His death was declared a homicide. Trainer was not charged with his death in wake of the ruling, the board suggested he be terminated. It is unclear as to whether or not the officer has actually been fired from the department.

Trainer claimed Sterling was driving recklessly when his motorcycle hit his police car. Witnesses said the unarmed Sterling had his hands visible when he was killed by the officer. Trainer’s body camera was not turned on until after the shooting.

“When something bad happens, we keep the public’s trust by looking into what went wrong and taking steps to make things right,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in a Wednesday statement obtained by Fox. “In the tragic death of Terrence Sterling, a family lost a beloved son and brother, and thus we have a duty to bring some sense of closure to his family.”

“This settlement is a step in that direction,” she continued. “We can never say or do anything to bring Terrence back. But we can, and do, resolve to illuminate what went wrong and, with great determination, do what we can to ensure no family faces this pain. The respect and trust between the people and the government may face setbacks, but together we will ensure that it always endures.”

Last Friday, the family of Korryn Gaines, who was killed by police just a month before Sterling, was awarded $37 million in their wrongful death suit against Atlanta police.

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