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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The city of Pittsburgh has agreed to pay $5.5 million to resolve a federal lawsuit filed by a black man paralyzed when he was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop.
Mayor Bill Peduto and Leon Ford said in a joint statement released by the city that “after five years of arduous litigation … an amicable resolution” had been reached in the November 2012 shooting.
A jury cleared one officer but deadlocked on whether another violated Ford’s civil rights in shooting him as his car sped away from the stop with the officer still inside.
Ford was shot five times by police on Nov. 11, 2012. He was 19-years-old at the time. He survived, but was paralyzed and now gets around in a wheelchair.
He says police mistook him for a gang member with a similar name, but police said that they didn’t shoot at Ford until he tried to drive away.
The statement Wednesday called the settlement in the best interest of Ford, the officer and the city, saying it “will provide all involved the closure needed to move forward in a positive direction.”
Peduto’s full statement reads:
“After five years of arduous litigation, all parties are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable resolution in the federal lawsuit Leon Ford brought following the November 11, 2012 shooting incident. The City has agreed to pay Mr. Ford and his attorneys $5.5 million. This settlement is in the best interest of Mr. Ford, Officer Derbish and the City of Pittsburgh, and will provide all involved the closure needed to move forward in a positive direction.”
Ford’s attorney, Monte Rabner, issued this statement:
“We’re very happy for Leon, and his family to have closure, so he can move forward, and be the great, successful man he is destined to be.”
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