OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Oakland City Council approved a $1.2 million settlement on Tuesday for the family of a man shot and killed after he was found unconscious in his car on a highway off-ramp near Lake Merritt in June 2015.
The settlement concludes two different lawsuits filed on behalf of four family members of 30-year-old Demouria Hogg.
The first lawsuit was filed on Oct. 30 on behalf of Hogg’s mother, Allene Hutchinson, and his unnamed daughter. The other was filed on April 2 on behalf of Hogg’s unnamed son and his guardian, Teandre Butler.
Attorney John Burris, who represented the family in the second lawsuit, said Wednesday that the settlement will be split between the four family members. The settlement in both cases was reached last month but only approved by the City Council on Tuesday.
Seven council members approved the settlement, with Councilwoman Desley Brooks voting against it.
Burris said the Oakland police tactics in the operation that led to Hogg’s death were “really poor.”
“They wake him by busting a window and as soon as he makes any kind of movement he gets shot,” Burris said. “He gets killed basically in his sleep, it’s outrageous.”
Firefighters found Hogg unconscious in a gray four-door BMW 520i that was parked while still running on the Lakeshore Avenue off-ramp from Interstate Highway 580 at about 7:30 a.m. on June 6, 2015. Police responded and could see through the car’s tinted windows a pistol with an extended magazine lying on the front seat.
Police shut down the area, pushing back patrons at the nearby farmer’s market, and surrounded the car. They tried for over an hour to wake him up but were unsuccessful despite making repeated announcements over a loudspeaker and breaking out his car’s taillights with beanbag rounds.
Eventually, they came up with a plan to break out the driver’s side window and hit him with a Taser stun gun. Two officers approached from the side while Officer Nicole Rhodes, a rookie officer who joined the department less than a year prior, provided lethal cover from the front of the car.
One officer broke the window, the other deployed the Taser, and Rhodes, thinking she saw him reach for the gun through the glare of the car’s windshield, fired two shots into the BMW.
Hogg was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office cleared Rhodes of any criminal charges in a Feb. 8 report, finding that she reasonably believed that her life and the life of her fellow officers was in danger.
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