Diamond Reynolds settles with St. Anthony for $675,000

Roseville agrees to smaller settlement

 

Diamond Reynolds, sitting in the passenger seat, and her young daughter, sitting in the back seat, were in the car as Philando Castile was shot to death by a St. Anthony police officer in Falcon Heights on July 6, 2016. 

Reynolds was then detained by Roseville police. She and her daughter were later released, unharmed.

On Nov. 28, the St. Anthony City Council voted to pay Reynolds and her daughter $675,000 to settle all legal claims stemming from the shooting.

According to a statement from the City of St. Anthony, the settlement allows the city to avoid litigation that may have taken much longer to sort out.

Before the vote, attorney Joe Flynn, who is under contract with the League of Minnesota Cities, recommended he and the council discuss the settlement behind closed doors in accordance with a law allowing meetings to be made private in order to permit attorney-client privilege. 

In fewer than 20 minutes, the council reemerged and voted. The resolution, passed unanimously, was an agreement between Reynolds individually, Reynolds on behalf of her daughter, and St. Anthony and the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust on behalf of the city of Roseville. The LMCIT and Roseville also agreed to pay Reynolds and her daughter an additional $125,000, for a total settlement of $800,000. 

Once the agreement is approved in court, a portion of the settlement will be placed in a trust for Reynolds’ daughter’s education. 

All parties engaged in mediation on Nov. 13, according to the resolution. The agreement clears all parties of assuming any guilt. 

St. Anthony’s $675,000 of the settlement will be paid by the city through internal borrowing. According to City Manager Mark Casey, in order to have the least possible impact on the tax levy, $300,000 will come from general fund reserves and $375,000 will come from a fund transfer from the city’s capital fund reserves. The money from the capital fund reserves will be replaced over time. 

During the Nov. 28 meeting, Faust said the city “needs to move forward.” 

In a statement by Reynolds released to the media, Reynolds said “The settlement symbolizes that what happened to my daughter and I on July 6, 2016 was wrong. While no amount of money can change what happened, bring Philando back, or erase the pain that my daughter and I continue to suffer, I do hope that closing this chapter will allow us to get our lives back and move forward.”

Nearly a year after the shooting, officer Jeronimo Yanez, who killed Castile, was acquitted June 16 of all criminal charges related to the shooting. St. Anthony announced it was parting ways with Yanez the same day.

In response to Yanez being cleared of all criminal wrongdoing, Castile’s family threatened a civil rights lawsuit against St. Anthony. The city avoided the suit with a $3 million settlement announced June 26.


Solomon Gustavo

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