Los Angeles News

Downey officer-involved shooting lawsuit settled for $4.5 million

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Downey family has been awarded millions of dollars in a civil-rights lawsuit settlement after an unarmed father of four was fatally shot and killed by a Downey police officer.

Michael Nida's family talked outside federal court Wednesday about a $4.5 million settlement they have reached with the city of Downey.

"We would have loved to have heard a guilty verdict by the jury, but we had to weigh the stress of going to trial, putting the kids through that," said Terri Teramura, Nida's sister.

Nida, 31, was fatally shot by a Downey police officer during a search for robbery suspects on October 22, 2011.

The family's attorney, Dale Galipo, says Nida was ordered to lie on the ground. Then one officer pointed his weapon at Nida's head and threatened to kill him.

"Mr. Nida was unarmed. Mr. Nida, in fear for his life, got up and ran. Within 2 to 3 seconds he was shot in the back without warning," said Galipo.

Wednesday, Nida's young son read a letter he had written to the Downey Police Department and the officer who fired the fatal shots.

"'You shot him three times in the back, one time in the shoulder, one time in the wrist. I am requesting justice for my dad,'" said Xavier Nida.

Since the 2011 shooting, Nida's family has been protesting police brutality and demanding justice for Michael.

"No amount of money will bring my brother back," said Teramura. "Money is not justice, but Downey will pay to support Michael's family since they took away their provider."

Nida's family is hoping the Department of Justice will review the district attorney's decision not to bring charges against the officer who shot Nida.

The city of Downey released a statement Wednesday: "The City of Downey and the family of Michael Nida, through their respective attorneys, are working to bring an end to a legal case arising from the officer-involved shooting on Oct. 22, 2011, that claimed Mr. Nida's life. Any proposed settlement must be reviewed and approved by a federal judge. Until that time, the insurance risk pool's decisions for this matter are beyond the City's control.

"With regard to the actual facts of this case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office report is available and provides an unbiased assessment of the shooting. The City invites anyone who is interested in the real facts to review that report."

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Tags:
legal, officer-involved shooting, shooting, los angeles news, leanne suter
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