Family of Terrence Sterling reaches $3.5 million settlement with DC in civil suit

WASHINGTON – The family of Terrence Sterling, the 31-year-old unarmed-African American man who in September 2016 was fatally shot by a D.C. police officer following a chase in the District, has reached a settlement agreement in the civil suit filed against D.C. government.

According to FOX 5’s Paul Wagner, D.C. will pay the family $3.5 million. The Metropolitan Police department has ruled that the 2016 shooting of Terrence Sterling was unjustified.

“When something bad happens, we keep the public’s trust by looking into what went wrong and taking steps to make things right,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in a statement released on Wednesday. “In the tragic death of Terrence Sterling, a family lost a beloved son and brother, and thus we have a duty to bring some sense of closure to his family. 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. The respect and trust between the people and the government may face setbacks, but together we will ensure that it always endures.”

The Metropolitan Police Department said Terrence Sterling (left) was fatally shot by DC Police Officer Brian Trainer on Sept. 11, 2016.

Mr. Sterling’s death was a tragedy. We resolve to redouble our efforts to promote public safety and trust between police officers and the communities they protect in the District,” said D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine in a statement. “While no amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, we are pleased that the parties in this case were able to come to a resolution. In this regard, we are especially grateful to former D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Eric T. Washington, who mediated settlement discussions between the District and the family.”

Authorities said Terrence Sterling, an HVAC technician from Fort Washington, Maryland, was riding his motorcycle recklessly in Northwest D.C. when officers spotted him at about 4:20 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2016.

Terrence Sterling was on his way home from a bachelor party and was likely headed for the 3rd Street Tunnel when witnesses say a D.C. police cruiser suddenly blocked his path at the intersection of 3rd and M streets and he collided with the vehicle.

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