The East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council will reconsider a proposed $5 million settlement in the civil lawsuit filed on behalf of Alton Sterling's five children, who lost their father in a 2016 police shooting that ignited protests nationwide.
The issue is scheduled for a public hearing scheduled on Oct. 28. The item first appeared before the council in September but came one vote shy of garnering the seven votes necessary to pass during a contentious meeting.
The measure to revisit the settlement was approved without controversy during a meeting Wednesday as part of a package of agenda items for the next meeting.
The six council members who previously supported the measure sponsored its reintroduction. They include Chauna Banks, Chandler Loupe, Erika Green, LaMont Cole, Donna Collins-Lewis and Tara Wicker.
Five other council members voted against the proposed settlement when it last appeared: Denise Amoroso, Dwight Hudson, Matt Watson, Trae Welch and Scott Wilson.
Councilwoman Jen Racca abstained from the September vote.
The civil lawsuit, filed in 2017, alleges the 2016 police shooting in which Sterling was killed exemplified longstanding problems of racist attitudes and excessive force within the Baton Rouge Police Department. The lawsuit is inching toward a March 2021 trial date, now four years after the Black man was killed during a struggle with two White police officers outside a Baton Rouge convenience store.
Federal and state prosecutors declined to press charges against the officers involved, noting that Sterling reached for a handgun inside his pocket in the moments before the shooting.
If approved, the measure would authorize the Parish Attorney's Office to offer the settlement to Sterling's family with dollars appropriated from the city-parish's Insurance Reserve Funds, which contains roughly $19 million in available assets.
Residents wishing to offer public comment to council members will be able to do so via a live feed on the fourth floor of the River Center Branch Library, next door to City Hall.
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