SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento city council has agree to pay $5.2 million to the family of a man shot with a stun gun a beaten into a coma in 2017.
The settlement is believed to be the largest on record by the city and doubles the payout for its 24 lawsuits in 2018. The settlement was reached in a closed-door session and
The family of John Hernandez says he has the mental capacity of a toddler and needs a care giver 24/7.
The money will help but won’t bring John back, says the family attorney.
Hernandez suffered permanent brain damage after he was tased multiple times and asphyxiated by Sacramento police in March of 2017.
The family wasn’t available for the announcement but their attorney, John Burris, was.
“In my point of view, this was an important amount of money that will allow him to have some decency of life it’s not perfect,” said Burris, a civil rights attorney.
Just before the incident happened, people called police to the Right Aid on Alhambra Boulevard where Hernandez, a meth user, was acting erratically.
“Even one officer said when he ran ‘let him go’, and that’s what should have happened,” said Burris.
Of the $5.2 million, $3 million will be paid from the city’s risk fund. The other $2.2 million will be paid through insurance. Burris say’s it was never about the money.
“What was important to us was one, the type of conduct the police engaged in, and number two, the damage to the client himself,” said Burris.
The city would not confirm if $5.2 million is the largest settlement on record, but in 2018 they paid out $2.8 million to settle 24 lawsuits — four that alleged police excessive force. The figures are staggering from other high-profile cases.
- $719,000 to the family of Joseph Mann who was shot and killed by police in July, 2016.
- $550,000 to Nandi Cain Jr. was beaten by police after jaywalking in 2017.
It’s not enough, says community activist Berry Accius with Voice of Youth.
“And the justice is a check ..It doesn’t matter if your loved one is permanently damaged or your loved one is deceased we’ll give you a settlement and hope this whole thing goes away,” said Accius.
Hernandez will receive the money in a structured settlement and a special-needs trust.
A team consisting of an economist and financial experts are working with the family. The Sacramento Police Department is disputing any liability in the case.