DENVER — A Colorado city will make sweeping police reforms and pay $2.6 million to relatives of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by an officer in 2015, officials announced Monday.
Officials in Aurora have pledged to increase the use of body cameras, expand the police unit that investigates allegations of officer wrongdoing, bolster civilian oversight and improve diversity on the force as part of the settlement over the March 2015 shooting of Naeschylus Carter Vinzant.
The settlement and payout, a record for Colorado’s third largest city, located east of Denver, was reached to avoid a potentially costly and divisive lawsuit, city attorney Mike Hyman said.
“Aurora has honored the family’s wishes by using Naeschylus’ death as an occasion for introspection and positive change in its police department,” said Qusair Mohamedbhai, an attorney representing Vinzant’s family.
Vinzant’s death came amid a national debate over whether officers are held accountable for on-duty shootings.