A settlement has been reached after a teen was shot in the back by LAPD in 2015. Jamar Nicholson filed a $20 million lawsuit against the LAPD in 2015, and today the city of Los Angeles agreed to settle for $985,000.
“We’re very exhilarated that the city finally, after five years, has seen fit to compensate our clients for the physical and mental duress they suffered from this unlawful shooting,” John Harris of Harris & Associates, told L.A. Weekly. “They were minors at the time and couldn’t understand why the city of Los Angeles had absolutely refused to come around and compensate them for a shooting that they thought was wrongful and knew was wrongful from the very beginning. That was just reprehensible conduct and a failed attempt on their part to cover up what they had done.”
Nicholson, who was 15 at the time, was recording a rap video with three friends who were on their way to school, according to the plaintiffs. Nicholson was said to be holding an Airsoft gun, and LAPD officer Miguel Gutierrez fired three shots in his direction — one struck him in the back.
Gutierrez was not in uniform. After the shooting, the boys said they initially believed the officer was a gang member.
Court documents alleged that Gutierrez had mistaken the Airsoft gun for a real gun, and that he identified himself as an officer and asked Nicholson to drop the gun. All four of the boys in the group refuted that Gutierrez identified himself, or made any verbal commands.
The L.A. Police Commission later ruled that Gutierrez was justified in shooting.
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