FERGUSON, Mo. — The family of Michael Brown, the city of Ferguson, former Ferguson police Chief Tom Jackson and former police Officer Darren Wilson are nearing settlement of a lawsuit over Brown’s 2014 fatal shooting by Wilson, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has learned.

The settlement has not yet been finalized or approved by a judge.

A person familiar with the settlement negotiations said that a settlement was close, however, and that it would be for less than $3 million.

It’s not clear how much less, but $3 million is the limit of the city’s insurance.

There was a conference call with the judge and lawyers about the case June 8, but the summary of the call has been sealed.

The Brown family lawyers filed a sealed document June 10.

On Friday, lawyers for the city’s insurance company filed their own motion supporting the Brown family motion to seal documents. In a memo, the city’s lawyers also asked that any “proceedings” connected with the family’s motion be sealed, “including any hearings or conferences.”

Another conference call happened Monday morning, court records show.

Any settlement, once finalized, would have to be made public under Missouri’s open records law.

Anthony Gray, a lawyer for the family, said Friday that the case was still in limbo, but that the parties would “hopefully resolve it.”

“That’s always a goal,” he said later.

Asked why lawyers would try to close the courtroom to the public, Gray said, “There’s more to it than that, but I just can’t comment.”

Lawyers for the Ferguson defendants declined to comment Monday.

Ferguson City Attorney Apollo Carey also declined to comment.

Brown’s parents, Lezley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., filed the lawsuit in May 2015, about nine months after their son’s death on Aug. 9, 2014. The suit claims that a culture of pervasive hostility toward African-Americans led to the death of the 18-year-old. It said Wilson used excessive and unreasonable force, and Wilson and other officers were poorly trained. The suit sought unspecified damages.

—St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Seattle police release audio of woman’s fatal shooting

SEATTLE — Seattle police shouted “Get back! Get back!” before they opened fire on 30-year-old Charleena Lyles as at least one child could be heard crying in the background, according to dashboard camera audio released early Monday by the Seattle Police Department.

The audio of the Sunday morning encounter in fourth-floor Magnuson Park, which was redacted in several places, includes two unidentified officers speaking about Lyles’ mental health and previous calls to police before they confronted her.

The officers were responding to Lyles’ call reporting an attempted burglary at her Magnuson Park apartment. At some point, police said, she displayed a knife and two officers shot and killed her.

“Hello, good morning,” one of the officers says in the audio. “You call the police?”

The officers continue to speak with Lyles, who was identified by family members Sunday, and ask her about a reportedly stolen Xbox.

Shortly after, the situation escalates and an officer says, “We need help.”

“Hey! Get back! Get back!” an officer shouts before an eruption of gunfire.

Police said several children were in the apartment at the time of the shooting and were not hurt. The children were identified by family as two boys and a girl, ages 11, 4 and 1.

In a statement released with the audio, police noted that both officers were equipped with “less lethal force options.”

Police also said that typically one officer is dispatched when property crime is reported, but in this case two officers were sent because there had been a previous incident involving Lyles.

Family members also said she was several months pregnant and had been struggling with mental health issues for the past year. They said she was concerned that authorities would take her children, one of whom they said has Down syndrome.

Police took the three children from the home.

—The Seattle Times


9 killed in Mali hotel attack claimed by al-Qaida affiliate

BAMAKO, Mali — Nine people including four civilians were killed in an attack by “terrorists” on a hotel near the Malian capital Bamako, Security Minister Salif Traore said Monday.

The attack on Sunday targeted Le Campement Kangaba, a favorite destination for expatriates.

Traore said the victims were a Portuguese, a Franco-Malian, a Chinese and a Franco-Gabonese civilian as well as a Malian soldier. Four attackers were also killed.

Al-Qaida’s affiliate in Mali, Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, claimed the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

The aim was to bear a message to “crusaders” that they will never be safe in the country, SITE quoted the group as saying.

Traore said three suspects were arrested.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the victims included a Portuguese and a Malian national working for the EU in Mali.

“Sadly, I can confirm that there were two victims from our EU colleagues,” she said.

The Portuguese national was part of an EU training mission in Bamako and the Malian national was working for the European Commission delegation, she said.

“This is one the prices to be paid for the unity between the European Union and Mali, the Sahel — that unity is strong and it will continue day in, day out,” Mogherini said.

Eight people were injured, including six members of the security forces and two civilians, while 36 people were rescued unhurt, Traore said earlier. They included 14 Malians and 13 French citizens.

Residents said they started hearing gunfire in the afternoon, and saw a column of smoke rise above the hotel.

“Shouting “Allahu akbar,” the attackers fired several bursts of bullets. After the first shots, we started evacuating clients through a secret exit,” hotel employee Lassana Coulibaly said.

An anti-terrorist unit was sent to the site and exchanged fire with the attackers. By nightfall, a large number of security forces had been deployed in the area, according to witnesses.

Witnesses said they saw vehicles of U.N. peacekeepers and French troops participate in the operation.


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