$20 million settlement reached in Maryland police killing of handcuffed man
William Green’s family will be receiving a $20 million payout from Prince George’s County. This comes after he was fatally shot by a police officer six times after being handcuffed.
The settlement was announced by Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks on Monday (Sep. 28). The members of Green’s family as well as their attorney Billy Murphy were present.
“This settlement in no way makes up for the loss experienced by Mr. Green’s mother, children and family,” she said. “However, when we are wrong, and we need to take responsibility, we will. When we need to make reforms in our police department, we will; and in circumstances where we must defend our department, we will.”
It was on January 27 that the incident occurred, after police received a report that a male driver hit several vehicles in Silver Hill, Maryland. When officer Michael Owen reached the scene, he reportedly found Green sleeping in his car. According to court documents, the victim was brought out of his career and “appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.”
Then, Green was handcuffed and was made to sit in the front seat of Owen’s vehicle. According to reports, while Green was still handcuffed, Owen got into the driver’s seat.
Just a few moments later, gunshots were heard by another police. He approached the car to see that Green, who was still handcuffed, suffered from several gunshot wounds. Six bullets hit him out of the seven that were fired and Owen was not wearing a bodycam when the shooting occurred. He reportedly claimed that Green tried to reach for his firearm and hence he feared for his life.
Owen was charged with second-degree murder, assault, manslaughter, misconduct in office and use of a handgun in March. Allegedly, Green was the second person to be shot by Owen, who reportedly also killed 35-year-old Rodney Deron Edwards in 2011.
This settlement is one of the biggest deals America witnessed that involved a Black person and an on-duty police officer, and the money will be taken from the county's budget.
“I agree with County Executive Alsobrooks that this historic settlement shows that the Black life of William Green and the Black lives of his grieving mother, son and daughter truly matter,” said Murphy. “Black lives matter.”