City of Minneapolis reaches $795,000 settlement with family of man killed by police

A woman stands just outside a door to answer questions to media.
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender comments on the council’s approval of the Franklin family lawsuit Friday. The city will pay out $795,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of Terrance Franklin.
Brandt Williams | MPR News

The city of Minneapolis will pay out $795,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of Terrance Franklin. The City Council approved the settlement Friday.

Franklin was wanted for questioning in a burglary case in May 2013 when Minneapolis police officers chased him through a south Minneapolis neighborhood before cornering him in the basement of a home. Officers shot and killed him.

Police said Franklin grabbed one of the officers' guns and wounded two of the officers during a struggle.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014, alleged that Franklin, 22, was trying to surrender at the time police shot him.

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On Friday, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender called the shooting a tragedy for everyone involved and said the department has made significant policy changes since then.

"We have new use-of-force policies. We have de-escalation procedures. All our officers are trained in de-escalation procedures, and racial and implicit bias,” she said. “I think cultural change takes time and that is the deep work that's happening right now."

The $795,000 payout is large compared to most past police misconduct lawsuit settlements, although it is not the largest. In 2019, the city agreed to pay $20 million to the family of Justine Ruszczyk, who was killed by officer Mohamed Noor in 2017. Noor shot Ruszczyk, who was unarmed and had called police for help, through the open window of his patrol car. He is serving prison time for third-degree murder.

Last year the council also agreed to pay $200,000 to the family of Jamar Clark, killed by a police officer in 2015. As with the Franklin shooting, police said Clark grabbed an officer’s gun before another officer killed him.

Attorney Mike Padden said Friday that Franklin’s surviving family members are relieved and feel like the settlement has brought some closure. He said attorney's fees are included in the settlement. However, that number hasn't been calculated yet.

The family had asked for at least $2 million in damages.

Padden said the family is not disappointed the settlement fell short of that.

"When it comes to settlement, what matters at the end of the day is how my clients feel,” said Padden. “I can tell you that the heirs, including [Terrance Franklin's father, Walter Franklin] as trustee, are pleased with the resolution and happy with the result."