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Minneapolis to pay family $795,000 over relative fatally shot by police — after he allegedly grabbed cop's gun, shot two officers. Police union is outraged.

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'It seems instead of punishing violent offenders, the City Council is in the business of rewarding violent offenders.'

Image source: KMSP-TV video screenshot

Minneapolis City Council approved a $795,000 settlement last Friday for the family of Terrance Franklin who was fatally shot by police in 2013 — after he allegedly grabbed a cop's gun and shot two officers, KMSP-TV reported.

What's the background?

Minneapolis police said they wanted to question the 22-year-old in connection with a burglary case, and he broke into a home, hid in the corner of a basement, refused to surrender, and struggled with officers, MPR News reported.

Police said five officers — Ricardo Muro, Andy Stender, Mark Durand, Lucas Peterson, and Michael Meath — were in the basement with Franklin, KMSP said, and that Franklin grabbed one of their guns and shot Muro and Meath. Officers Peterson and Meath shot and killed Franklin, KMSP said. Franklin was shot eight times, MPR News said.

"Terrance Franklin had numerous opportunities to surrender," then-Minneapolis Chief of Police Janee Harteau said after a grand jury cleared officers of wrongdoing, MPR News added. "But it was clear in his actions that from the beginning he had made the decision not to get caught at any cost."

Investigators said they found Franklin's DNA on an officer's gun, MPR News said, adding that police didn't conduct a gunshot residue test on Franklin.

But Mike Padden, the Franklin family attorney, told MPR News a gunshot residue test was the only way to prove Franklin fired the gun — and he argued that Franklin never fired.

Image source: KMSP-TV video screenshot

"If you want people to buy this story, don't you think they would do a competent GSR test?" Padden asked MPR News. "That's law enforcement investigation 101."

What were the details of the lawsuit?

The Franklin family's wrongful death lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2014, alleged that Franklin didn't grab an officer's weapon and wound two cops, KMSP reported. The family alleged that Franklin was too light — 173 pounds, not 196 pounds as reported by police — to fight off the cops and grab one of their guns.

"This was absolutely not a situation where he was somebody in flight who just committed a crime," Padden told KMSP.

The suit also alleged that Franklin was shot while trying to surrender, KMSP said, and demanded no less than $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

What did the city council president have to say?

City Council President Lisa Bender told KMSP it will be the last settlement of its kind since cops are now wearing body cameras — unlike when the Franklin shooting took place nearly seven years ago.

Image source: KMSP-TV video screenshot

Bender also said that the police department also has gone through numerous changes since then, including "new use of force policies, deescalation procedures," and training police in "racial implicit bias."

What did the police union have to say?

Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, the union for Minneapolis police, said it was "with complete and utter disappointment" to hear of the settlement and noted that it's "outraged to say the least" by the "slap in the face of justice," KMSP said.

"This incident changed lives for many," the union said in a statement, the station noted, including the owner of the house that was burglarized, the owner of the car that was stolen, and the two officers "who were shot and significantly injured by Terrance Franklin, while attempting to stop him on his felonious crime spree."

The statement added that the settlement "shows the lack of support and compassion the City Council has regarding crime in this great city," KMSP said, adding that "it seems instead of punishing violent offenders, the City Council is in the business of rewarding violent offenders. This payment only assists with promoting and perpetuating violent acts toward the citizens and visitors of this great city and violence toward Police Officers."

(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)

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