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Family of Man Shot and Killed by San Bernardino Police Agrees to $575,000 Settlement

by Christopher Zoukis

The city of San Bernardino, California, along with two of its police officers who shot and killed Jerriel Dashawn Allen, agreed to a settlement of $575,000 with Allen's family, which included his parents and two minor children.

     On April 14, 2007, San Bernardino Police Officers Adam Affrunti and Christopher Gray began the chase of a vehicle that ended when it ran into the backyard of a house. The officers ordered Allen, who was a passenger, out of the car. When he stepped out, Affrunti and Gray shot and killed him, allegedly for no apparent reason.

     Allen's family, namely his minor children J.A. and J.D.A., through their mother, Keyondra Marshall, his mother, Sherry Watson, and his father, Jerry Allen, filed a complaint in the California Superior Court for San Bernardino County against the city and officers Affrunti and Gray. The case was removed to federal court in July 2009.

     The plaintiff's claimed wrongful death, survival action, excessive force, negligence, battery and false arrest, along with violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. They also asserted that the city had made no attempt to correct the common use of excessive force by police despite being aware of the problem. The family sought damages for loss of society and financial support, emotional distress, pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and attorney's fees and costs.

     On January 12, 2012, an agreement of settlement was filed with the court. The defendants agreed to pay the minor children $200,000 each, Watson $115,000 and Allen $60,000 for a total of $575,000. Attorney's fees were to be taken out of each portion. On March 28, 2012, a motion was submitted requesting that the settlements be structured. Judge Justin L. Quackenbush, however, said he needed more information on the structuring and on Allen's parents' relationships with Allen and his children before he could give final approval to the agreement.

See: J.A., et al., v. City of San Bernardino, et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. 5:09-cv-01388-JLQ-JC (Jan. 12, 2012)

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Related legal case

J.A., et al., v. City of San Bernardino, et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California



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