Northern California City Settles for $3.25M in Police Killing

March 23, 2021

A Northern California city has agreed to pay $3.25 million to settle a lawsuit by the daughters of an unarmed Black man killed by police in 2016, the family’s attorneys said.

The federal wrongful death lawsuit they filed says Stockton Police Officer David Wells mistook Colby Friday for another Black man who was being sought in a domestic violence investigation.

That suspect was described as a Black male, about 6 feet tall with hair in cornrows. The attorneys said Friday was Black man with his hair in cornrows, but wasn’t the suspect and was not wanted for any reason by police.

When Friday left the scene, a witness said he heard Wells say he would shoot him in the back if he didn’t stop, said civil rights attorneys Mark Merin of Sacramento and Yolanda Huang of Oakland.

They said Wells then opened fire, killing Friday with multiple gunshots, though the district attorney declined to prosecute and he remains a Stockton police officer.

City Attorney John Luebberke said through a spokeswoman that “we are not able to comment at this time.”

The killing “will forever haunt Colby’s children,” the family said in a statement criticizing officials and calling for reforms. “Colby’s girls will never get to say, ‘Hi dad.'”

Topics California Law Enforcement

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