Colorado city settles police shooting lawsuit for nearly $9M
DENVER (AP) — A Colorado city agreed to pay nearly $9 million to settle claims from an officer-involved shooting that left one person dead and another paralyzed, officials said.
The agreement by Northglenn and its insurer is among the largest settlements in the state’s history related to police excessive force, Colorado Public Radio reports.
Serina Minella will receive $8.25 million, while the family of Jeremy Patscheck will be paid $500,000, officials said.
Northglenn officers shot Patscheck eight times. Minella was shot once and paralyzed from the neck down and will require care for the rest of her life, authorities said.
Neither was armed when officers confronted them in a car at 3 a.m. in December 2017. Patscheck may have been asleep and bumped a police cruiser as he attempted to flee; Northglenn officers said they feared being struck by the car and opened fire, authorities said.
The three officers involved in the shooting were cleared of criminal charges in 2018 and no longer work for the department, Northglenn Police Chief Jim May said.
Northglenn reached the settlement in December. The city plans to pay a $100,000 deductible while its insurance company will cover the cost of the settlement and attorney’s fees, the city said in a statement Tuesday.
Northglenn Mayor Meredith Leighty and Councilwoman Becky Brown said they could not discuss the payout.
“I’m happy the city of Northglenn has decided to be transparent about this and that all cities should be transparent in issues related to the policing of their citizens,” said Birk Baumgartner, an attorney representing Minella and Patscheck’s family.
May hopes the settlement “offers some closure and supports the healing process for us all.”
“This is a tragic incident — a shooting, resulting in severe injury to a young woman and loss of life, is never the outcome we hope for,” May said.