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City Will Pay Out $6.9 Million To Man Paralyzed In LAPD Shooting

Emblem on LAPD motorcycle. (Image courtesy of Steve Devol/Flickr)
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Over a decade after two Los Angeles police officers shot and paralyzed a gang member leaving the scene of a drive-by shooting, the L.A. City Council on Wednesday approved a $6.9 million payout in his excessive force lawsuit, the L.A. Times reports.

In 2012, a jury ordered the city to pay Robert Contreras $5.7 million, a judgement the city sought to get thrown out but that was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court this past December. The $6.9 million includes attorney’s fees and interest.

The judgment stems from a September 2005 altercation in South L.A., during which Contreras was shot by Officer Mario Flores and Det. Julio Benavides of the LAPD. Contreras, a gang member, jumped out of a van near the site where the officers said they heard gunshots and fled on foot. The officers gave pursuit and shot Contreras in the back and side, claiming he held a gun in his hand when it was, in fact, a cellphone. No gun was ever found on the scene.

Contreras, who pleaded no contest to attempted murder in the drive-by and served jail time, was left partially quadriplegic with some use of his arms. He later filed an excessive force lawsuit against the city, claiming the officers had violated his civil rights.

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The $5.7 million amount the 2012 jury awarded Contreras came after the city council voted 8 to 4 to reject a smaller amount of $4.5 million.