Photo by Harvey K via Flickr Creative Commons
The Los Angeles City Council has rejected a multimillion-dollar settlement with a man who was shot and paralyzed by LAPD officers. Opponents of the deal believe the city can prevail in court.
L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian said officers believed Robert Contreras, who was fleeing a drive-by shooting, did have a gun.
“It’s really a question of trying to do what’s right in pursuing justice," said the councilman. "And to stand up for the officers who put their lives at risk.”
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich recommended paying Contreras $4.5 million. He pointed to a jury’s decision in a civil lawsuit by Contreras that the shooting was unjustified.
But Krekorian said the jury didn’t know he had been convicted in the drive-by or that he was a known gang member, issues the councilman hopes the city can bring up in an appeal.
“There is risk in every litigation that the city is involved with," he acknowledged.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck also said the city should not settle, but City Attorney Trutanich has warned the eventual payout could be much bigger as a result.