Crime, Law and Justice

Parties settle lawsuit over police killing of Terrance Franklin

Franklin’s father sued the officers, alleging they killed his son while he was trying to surrender

Terrance Franklin
Terrance Franklin, 22, of Minneapolis, shown in an undated family photo. Franklin was shot and killed during an altercation with two Minneapolis police officers on Friday, May 10, 2013.
Photo courtesy of Starr Reynolds

A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit stemming from the fatal police shooting of 22-year-old Terrance Franklin in Minneapolis.

A Franklin family attorney declined to discuss details of the settlement until it is approved by the Minneapolis City Council. The wrongful-death lawsuit stems from the shooting, which occurred nearly seven years ago.

On May 10, 2013, Minneapolis police officers chased Terrence Franklin through a south Minneapolis neighborhood before cornering him in the basement of a home. Police say five officers — Ricardo Muro, Andy Stender, Mark Durand, Lucas Peterson and Michael Meath — were in the basement with Franklin. They say Franklin grabbed one of their guns and was able to wound officers Muro and Meath. Officers Peterson and Meath shot and killed Franklin.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2014, paints a different narrative. It alleges that Franklin did not forcibly grab an officer's weapon and wound two cops. The family alleged Franklin, at 5-foot-10, weighed just 173 pounds — much lighter than the 196 pounds as reported by police — suggesting he alone couldn’t have fought off five officers and grabbed a gun in the struggle.

The suit also alleges that the officers shot Franklin while he was trying to surrender. And it demanded no less than $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Franklin’s death sparked marches and rallies. Protesters, skeptical of police accounts of the confrontation, demanded that the officers be held accountable for their actions.

The shooting occurred several years before Minneapolis police officers began wearing body cameras. The officers were not charged criminally and were not disciplined by the department.

The City Council will meet behind closed doors to discuss the settlement before opening them up to let reporters hear and record the vote.

Correction (Feb. 14, 2020): An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the City Council will vote on the settlement in a closed session.

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