The nation’s capital is set to pay out $3.5 million to the family of Terrence Sterling, an unarmed black motorcyclist who was gunned down by a Metropolitan Police Department officer.
According to the Associated Press, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement saying that the city was seeking to “illuminate what went wrong” and bring closure. The report notes that this is the largest settlement D.C. has paid in a fatal shooting by an officer.
“When something bad happens, we keep the public’s trust by looking into what went wrong and taking steps to make things right,” Bowser said in a statement Wednesday. “This settlement is a step in that direction. 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.”
“Unfortunately, nothing will bring Terrence back, but this at least shows the family the city accepts a significant level of responsibility,” Hassan Murphy, an attorney representing the Sterling family, told WTOP-TV.
The news of the settlement comes just about a month after an internal investigation ruled that Brian Trainer, the D.C. officer who killed Sterling, had no reason to pull his weapon, let alone fire it, since he was in no danger.
The 34-page report of the investigation concluded that Trainer’s decision to fire his weapon “was not in defense of his life, nor was it in defense of the lives of others,” calling the shooting “unjustified.”
Following the conclusion of the review, police officials recommended that Trainer, who is currently on paid administrative leave, be fired.