$5M Alton Sterling settlement fails after metro council vote
UPDATE: The metro council voted 6-5, with one member abstaining, in favor of the settlement. However, the measure failed because it did not get the seven votes needed to pass.
BATON ROUGE - Council members are split on the decision to move forward with a settlement for the family of Alton Sterling, and the city-parish attorney's office thinks the amount is too much.
In an email obtained by WBRZ this week, the city-parish attorney asked the metro council to reconsider the $5 million figure. The email says, "our office would prefer a settlement over trial" and that "A number exists but it is not $5 million."
That number, which was proposed by a mediator appointed in October of last year, is higher than any similar police shooting settlements in the area. Including the Danzinger Bridge case in New Orleans, where police shot and killed two people and injured four others. The highest settlement in that case was just over $2 million.
Councilmember Chauna Banks, who originally proposed the city-parish settle the case in June, says $5 million isn't enough.
"Five million is nothing compared to what has gone on," Banks said.
Though she recognizes the settlement would be setting a precedent, she says the case itself is unprecedented.
"The closest thing was in New Orleans, but it did not include five minor children. There has been no case that rocked our city and traumatized our city such as what happened with Blaine Salimoni killing Alton Sterling."
In order for the $5 million settlement to be approved, seven council members will have to vote yes. So far, Banks says shes gotten verbal commitments from Chandler Loupe, Donna Collins Lewis, and Lamont Cole.
Dwight Hudson and Matt Watson said Tuesday they were against the settlement and Tara wicker said she was on the fence. The rest did not reply.
It's possible that no vote happens on Wednesday and the item gets deferred again. If no settlement can be reached, the case will head to court in March, nearly five years after Sterling was killed.