Family of Alton Sterling quietly accepted $4.5M settlement last month
BATON ROUGE - Court documents show the family of Alton Sterling agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuit with the city-parish nearly a month ago, putting an end to the years-long legal battle.
Records say the family requested a judge dismiss the case in mid May, about three months after the East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved the $4.5 million settlement offer from the city-parish government. A statement from Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome says the settlement "marks a milestone in this traumatic chapter of our community's history."
The settlement includes an upfront payment of $1 million taken from East Baton Rouge's insurance reserve funds.
Sterling was killed during a confrontation with two Baton Rouge police officers in July 2016, kicking off a series of protests throughout the capital area that summer. The officer who shot Sterling lost his job and another officer was suspended.
The attorneys representing the Sterling family released the following statement Friday:
“On behalf of the family of Alton Sterling, we are pleased to announce that we have reached a $4.5 million settlement with the city of Baton Rouge and dismissed our lawsuit against the city and others.
This settlement, which was reached through hard work and collaboration between attorneys for Mr. Sterling’s family and the Baton Rouge City Council, will allow the city to heal and provide a pathway for Mr. Sterling’s children to be provided for financially. Additionally, we are grateful for the significant policy changes that have been and will be implemented by the city of Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Police Department following Mr. Sterling’s death.
Our hope is that these policy changes, which focus on de-escalation, providing verbal warnings prior to using deadly force and prohibiting officers from both using chokeholds and firing into moving vehicles, will ensure that no other family has to endure the trauma and heartbreak that Mr. Sterling’s family went through and will create a better future going forward for Baton Rouge residents.”
The full statement from Mayor Broome reads:
"The family of Alton Sterling has officially dismissed their lawsuit against the City of Baton Rouge following their acceptance of the settlement proposed by our Metro Council earlier this year. This undoubtedly marks a milestone in this traumatic chapter of our community’s history — as this chapter closes, we must remember that the work continues.
This settlement is an important step for our community. As we move forward, we can continue to focus on priorities within our community, and re-build a stronger foundation for Baton Rouge’s future. As a community, we must work together to implement changes in policy and in our community to ensure that no other families in Baton Rouge will endure this loss, trauma, or heartbreak.
My continued sympathy and prayers go out to the Sterling family as they continue to navigate this loss."