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City of Aurora awards $2.6 million settlement to family even after ‘hero’ officer cleared of wrongdoing

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The City of Aurora, Colorado has announced a staggering $2.6 million settlement in the 2015 police shooting of an unarmed black man by a white officer- despite the fact that the officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.

In a controversial and costly move that has many befuddled in the wake of its execution, the City of Aurora will compensate the family of Naeschylus Carter-Vinzant for his death in an officer-involved shooting that resulted in zero criminal charges being filed against law enforcement.

Carter-Vinzant was killed on March 6th, 2015 after a SWAT team served a warrant on his home due to Carter-Vinzant violating his parole conditions, having removed his own ankle bracelet.

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When Police attempted to move in on him, Carter-Vinzant began to run with his hand in his right pocket. As he came face to face with Officer Paul Jerothe, he began to remove his hand and was shot in the chest with a single carbine round.

Jerothe, who was recognized as a hero for his actions in ending the Aurora movie shooting, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident after the case was presented to an Arapahoe County grand jury.

Despite doing no wrong, Jerothe has been on administrative duties since the shooting and police Chief Nick Metz said that Jerothe’s chain of command will determine what role he would have in the future at the department.

While no lawsuit was ever filed by Carter-Vinzant’s family, the city reached a settlement after months of negotiations between Aurora City attorney Mike Hyman, an insurance carrier and city management.

“Early settlement of this matter was actively sought in an effort to resolve this matter before the parties engaged in what would have been an extremely lengthy, costly, stressful and divisive process,” Hyman said.

The Carter-Vinzant family has since issued a statement on the matter:

“Aurora has maintained throughout this process that it wanted to make the best of this unimaginable tragedy,” the statement said. “The family knows that nothing will make them whole again. Rather than allow this tragedy to divide the community, Aurora has honored the family’s wishes by using Naeshcylus’s death as an occasion for introspection and positive changes in its police department.”

The Denver Post reports that city manager Skip Noe claims the settlement is in the best interests of both the city and Carter-Vinzant’s family.

“This settlement will hopefully allow everyone to begin the healing process and to close a chapter that has been difficult for all parties involved,” Noe said.

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