SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The family of Mario Woods, shot dead by San Francisco police officers in 2015, has settled a lawsuit against the city.
San Francisco will pay an undisclosed amount to Woods’ mother to settle a wrongful death suit which was set to go to trial on April 1.READ MORE: Desperate To Find More Staff, Some Fast Food Restaurants Recruiting Customers
Woods was killed on Dec. 2, 2015 after he was shot 21 times by five officers during a confrontation with police near Third Street and Le Conte Avenue.
Police encountered Woods, who allegedly had bloody clothes and was holding a knife, after receiving a report that a man armed with a knife had stabbed someone just moments before nearby.
Officers first used non-lethal rounds on Woods as they ordered him to drop the knife. Police said officers opened fire when Woods moved toward an officer with the knife, but cellphone video showed Woods holding the knife at his side.
The shooting and public outcry over it helped lead to the resignation of then police chief Greg Suhr and a change in policy on the use of deadly force by the San Francisco police department.READ MORE: San Francisco Supervisors Approve Permanent Non-Citizen Voting In Board of Education Elections
Last May, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said an investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by the officers involved in the shooting; adding that he did not believe the officers should have killed Woods, but that he was bound by law not to press charges.
In October, a federal judge denied San Francisco’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit, saying video of the shooting cast doubt on officers’ accounts.
Following Tuesday’s word of a settlement in the case, John Coté. a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office released this statement, “Any loss of life is tragic, and our condolences go out to the loved ones affected here. Police officers are often forced into difficult situations and have to make split-second decisions in dangerous and evolving circumstances. In this case, the officers’ response to a risky situation was consistent with their training and in accordance with the law. This settlement allows us to reach a resolution without the need for a trial. Hopefully it will help bring closure for all involved.”
John Burris, the attorney for Woods’ mother, Gwendolyn Woods, said, “My client is happy with the results and happy to put it behind her.”MORE NEWS: San Francisco Ordinance Could Provide Easier Access To Paid Time Off For Domestic Workers
The settlement details are confidential until they are approved by the Police Commission and the Board of Supervisors.