Family: $1 million settlement for police killing teen

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The family of a black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer last year said Friday that the city of Portsmouth, Virginia, has agreed to pay a $1 million settlement.

Family spokesman Earl Lewis Jr. told The Associated Press that the teen’s mother has verbally agreed to the figure but believes her son’s life was worth far more.

“What we wanted was $2.5 million,” Lewis said. “It’s not OK with us. His life is definitely worth more than that. But at the same time, that’s what the city offered.”

William Chapman II was shot outside a Wal-Mart by former Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin. Chapman, 18, was suspected of shoplifting when a struggle ensued between the two men.

Rankin later lost his job. A jury convicted him last month of voluntary manslaughter before recommending a 2 1/2 year prison sentence.

A $1 million settlement falls far below some other recent settlements for police-involved shootings. For instance, the family of Laquan McDonald got $5 million from the city of Chicago after video capture officers shooting him 16 times in 2014.

Baltimore paid out $6.4 million to relatives of Freddie Gray after he was critically injured in a police van and later died from his injuries. The village of Pleasantville in suburban New York agreed to a $6 million settlement in March after an officer shot and killed college football player Danroy Henry in a moving car.

The attorney for the Chapman family, Jon Babineau, said he filed a notice of intent to sue the city of Portsmouth, which is required within six months of a death.

But he said Friday that no official lawsuit was filed against the city. However, he said he and city officials had been in discussions about a settlement, although he declined to comment further.

Solomon Ashby, Jr., an attorney for the city of Portsmouth, declined to comment on any “pending or potential litigation.”

Rankin’s attorneys have said they intend to appeal his conviction after his official sentencing, which is scheduled for October.

The Virginian-Pilot first reported the settlement.

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