The city of Milwaukee is to offer $450,000 in compensation to a man who was shot dead by police outside his home when a fleeing suspect took refuge there

The city of Milwaukee paid a man $450,000 in settlement three years after he was shot in the stomach by a police officer while chasing another suspect. Not all politicians are in favor of the massive payout, claiming they are tired of having to use taxpayers’ money to pay for cases involving the Milwaukee Police Department.

On Monday, Oct. 3, the Judiciary and Legislative Committee recommended approving the six-figure sum for Tari Davis, an unarmed man who was shot by Officer Nikolas Zens in September 2019, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The committee voted 3-1, with alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic being the only immigrant.

Dimitrijevic said she voted against the settlement as a “protest vote”.

“I’m fed up with this,” she said in a statement, adding that she protested the “ever-growing taxpayer-funded settlements that we have to continue paying in this city involving the police department.”

For Dimitrijevic, that settlement and the other resolutions the committee voted on that day cost the city over $1 million in pending police-related settlements or grand jury verdicts.

From the batch, Davis’s was the largest recommended amount. Another man was paid $386,000 and another $250,000 for a car accident involving an MPD squad car.

The progressive city councilwoman’s voice was not so much against Davis or the other victims as against the cover-up of police officers’ bad behavior that is preventing the city from being socially and fiscally responsible.

Ald. Michael Murphy said he voted in favor because he was thinking about the most tax-responsible thing — not going to court.

For this reason he cast his vote “with great reluctance”.

Davis filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, then-Police Chief Alfonso Morales, Zen and 13 other members of the force, who allege officers violated his constitutional rights by shooting him and shackling him to a hospital bed while he was lying recovering from his injuries and went through his phone.

According to the criminal complaint, the altercation began on September 8, 2019, when police tried to stop Kevin Brown for running a red light. The officers chased the then 22-year-old for 19 minutes over 22 kilometers at over 80 kilometers per hour through the streets of the city.

After Brown crashed his vehicle, he got out and ran to Davis’ back door. When Zens, who was pursuing Brown, enters the yard and sees Brown standing with Davis, the officer shoots the two men, hitting Davis in the stomach.

The officer says he thought the men were armed, but it was later proven they weren’t.

In 2021, Davis posted a 50-second bodycam clip of the encounter on his website. The footage shows the moment Brown runs to Davis while he’s standing by his back door.

Zens is heard telling Brown to stop and show his hands. The officer then shoots, injuring Davis.

“I got to my back door and it swings at me, I looked down to see who the person was, then I looked up, there was the flash, gunshots, I feel the pain, I’m in pain, it It’s an excruciating pain that continues at this moment,” Davis explained.

Zens was never criminally charged with the shooting by Milwaukee County prosecutors, and in February 2020, District Attorney John Chisholm said in a letter that Zens’ belief that he was in danger was not rebutted.

Despite this, Morales ended Zens’ employment with the department. Zens had only served in the department for a year and a half prior to the incident.

Davis added that in addition to his injuries, he said his 14-year-old daughter was “violently and violently” thrown to the ground and held for seven hours.

It is now up to the Joint Council to adopt the settlement recommendation at its meeting on Tuesday 11 October. The city’s Attorney’s Office wrote a letter to the City Council saying the settlement would be “quick” and recommending that Davis be paid $450,000.

Davis’ attorney, Verona Swanigan, has declined to discuss the settlement until the council has voted. The city of Milwaukee is to offer $450,000 in compensation to a man who was shot dead by police outside his home when a fleeing suspect took refuge there

James Brien

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