Rather than fight a long, expensive and painful court battle, the city of Denver and the family of a 17-year-old girl killed by police chose a different path.
Instead, city officials and the parents of Jessica Hernandez, the girl shot to death in an alley in January 2015, sat down to reach an agreement they hope will resolve the tension surrounding a controversial police shooting that prompted protests and forced the department to change its policy on shooting at moving cars.
City officials on Wednesday announced a settlement that includes a $1 million payout and an agreement that police will no longer voluntarily release criminal histories of those they killed. The City Council will be asked on Monday to approve the $999,999 payment of taxpayer dollars.
“The death of Jessica Hernandez was a tragedy,” City Attorney Kristin Bronson said. “But the collective resolution of this civil matter marks the beginning of our work to heal as a community.”