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City of Everett, Washington Settles Police Shooting Suit for $500,000

In February 2011, the City of Everett in Washington State agreed to settle for $500,000 a lawsuit brought by the family of a man gunned down by police.

Niles Meservey was fatally shot by police officer Troy Meade outside the Chuckwagon Inn on June 10, 2009. Meservey's daughter filed a $15 million wrongful death claim against the city, which the city refused to pay. She then filed suit, claiming the shooting was “highly reckless, grossly negligent and legally unjustified.”

In April 2010, a jury acquitted Meade, who had been charged with second-degree murder. However, the jury also found that the shooting was not in self-defense.

The civil suit was scheduled for trial in April 2011, and the city had intended to argue that Meservey was drunk and belligerent during the encounter with Meade and thus caused his own death.

It's an interesting concept that being drunk and belligerent gives a police officer the right to summarily execute a citizen. It’s no surprise that the city settled, particularly in light of the previous jury's finding that there was no self-defense involved. The $500,000 settlement was paid to Meservey’s daughter, Tanda Louden.

The city reportedly spent over $450,000 defending against the suit. The police department did not conduct an internal investigation into the shooting prior to the settlement, even though 20 months had elapsed since the incident. Meade was fired in July 2011; he had received $184,000 while on administrative paid leave after the shooting. See: Louden v. City of Everett, Snohomish County Superior Court (WA), Case No. 10-2-02682-5.

Source: Everett Daily Herald

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Related legal case

Louden v. City of Everett