Deal Reached in Calif. Shooting Case

Thursday, July 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The city reached a settlement, reportedly in the millions of dollars, with the family of a 19-year-old black woman who was shot to death by police in her car.

Court documents filed Wednesday said a tentative settlement had been reached in the death of Tyisha Miller but did not reveal the amount. Supervising Deputy City Attorney Gregory P. Priamos, would say only that ``the document speaks for itself.''

Ronald Butler, Miller's uncle, said the settlement was between $3 million and $10 million. The family had originally sought $10 million.

Family attorneys claimed ``racial animus'' led four officers, all white or Hispanic, to shoot Miller to death in December 1998.

She had been spotted unconscious in her locked car with a gun in her lap; she had pulled the car over because it had a flat tire. The family has said it appeared she was having a seizure.

Officers fired 23 shots, hitting her 12 times, saying later that they did so because she woke up and lunged for the gun as they tried to break into the car to help her.

The killing drew the attention of national activists, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and prompted regular protests in this city 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

The Riverside County district attorney concluded the officers may have used faulty tactics but were not criminally liable. The four who fired shots and a sergeant were all fired. Miller's family also has sued them.

The city already has met a $500,000 insurance deductible with legal expenses in the case, so settlement money will come from the insurer, not the city treasury.