City to pay $75k to settle shooting suit | MassCops

City to pay $75k to settle shooting suit

Discussion in 'New England' started by kwflatbed, Jun 30, 2007.

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  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Family alleged unreasonable force by police

    By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff | June 30, 2007

    Five years after Willie L. Murray Jr. was shot to death by a Boston police officer after a traffic stop in Roxbury, the city agreed yesterday to pay $75,000 to settle a wrongful death suit that was about to go to trial in federal court.
    Boston's corporation counsel William F. Sinnott, who confirmed the $75,000 settlement, said the money will go to Murray's son, who was 3 when his father was killed on Feb. 12, 2002.
    The city maintains that Officer Shawn West accidentally fired his gun at Murray, according to Sinnott said. "There was no admission of negligence on the part of the city of Boston."
    Neither Murray's family nor the lawyer who filed the suit on behalf of Murray's son could be reached for comment yesterday. The suit, which named the city and West, alleged that both Murray and his passenger were unarmed and that the police officer used unreasonable force while attempting to detain Murray.
    The shooting of Murray, 37, of the South End, was the fifth shooting by a Boston police officer in 15 months, sparking a grand jury investigation. However, a Suffolk grand jury voted not to indict West after reviewing the evidence in the case.
    "It was a terribly difficult, but clearly accidental discharge," said Boston lawyer Douglas Louison, who represented West in the civil case. "He's one of the good guys on the Police Department, and he's going to have a good and long career."
    Last month, West, who is assigned to Area B-2, received an award for helping to subdue a man who was trying to draw a gun from his pocket in March near the crowded entrance to the Breezeway Bar and Grill in Roxbury.
    The federal lawsuit, which had been slated for trial this week, alleged that Murray was driving his Chrysler with its headlights off the wrong way on Crawford Street when West stopped him at about 3:30 a.m. and approached the car with his gun drawn and pointed at Murray.

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