Maryland County To Pay $20 Million After Police Killing

3 weeks ago

LOS ANGELES: Prince George’s County, Maryland, has reached a $20 million settlement with the family of an unarmed man killed this year while handcuffed inside a police vehicle, authorities said on Monday.

Corporal Michael Owen fatally shot William Green after arresting him in January 2020. He was charged with second-degree murder and is awaiting trial.

The settlement is one of the largest publicized payments to the kin of a victim of police violence in U.S. history.

The family of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old whose 2014 killing by police in Ferguson, Missouri sparked a national uprising against police brutality, received a $1.5 million settlement in the wake of his death.

This month, the city of Louisville, Kentucky agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, whose killing led to months of protests nationwide.

The Green case is the first time that Prince George’s County, outside the District of Columbia, has charged a police officer with murder for killing someone in the line of duty, county executive Angela Alsobrooks said at a briefing.

“It is our belief that when we are at fault, we take responsibility,” she said. “And in this case we are accepting responsibility.”

An attorney for Michael Owen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement released after the announcement, Prince George’s County State Attorney Aisha Braveboy said that despite the civil settlement, criminal charges were still pending against Owen.

“It is important to remember that he is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial,” she said.

Jury selection for the criminal trial is set to begin in mid-March.

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