Dearborn pays $1.25 million to settle police shooting lawsuit
DEARBORN, Mich. (WJBK) - Outrage and protests followed the death of Janet Wilson at the hands of a Dearborn police officer.
And now, a million-dollar payout. The city of Dearborn settled a civil lawsuit with the Wilson estate for $1.25 million. It is a tenth of the amount the Wilson estate sought in a civil lawsuit.
"No amount of money can bring back her life but I believe they were short-changed in terms of the settlement," said Kenneth Reed.
Reed, from the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, followed the investigation and believes the Dearborn Police Department was at fault and this was a bad shoot.
"There's no reason why that lady should have lost her life that day," said Reed. "It was clearly demonstrated she was boxed in, there was nowhere really for her to go. And she was unarmed, let's not forget that."
But a moving vehicle can be used as a weapon. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy did not file criminal charges against James Wade, the officer who killed Janet Wilson.
He and the city denied the Wilson estate's claim that he used excessive force. They denied all liability for the 31-year-old woman's death.
"Both parties get something, the family gets closure," said attorney Todd Perkins. "They get some guarantee of some monetary award to ease whatever pains from a material perspective. You can't really put a value on that loss of life.
"The city gets the ability to say there is closure without liability being found. There is closure without having to say anything at all."
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But this payout may not be the last. The Wilson shooting happened just weeks after another Dearborn cop shot and killed Kevin Matthews.
Matthews allegedly got into a scuffle with the officer when the gun went off.
His estate is also suing the city of Dearborn and no trial date has been set in that case.
As for the Janet Wilson settlement, neither her family or lawyer would comment.