Family of Walter Scott Asks Judge to Approve $6.5 Million Settlement

AP Photo/Mic Smith
AP Photo/Mic Smith

The family of Walter Scott, the South Carolina man seen on video being shot by a North Charleston police officer, is asking a judge to approve a $6.5 million wrongful death settlement.

The publicly available request also lays out just how those funds would be distributed.

According to The Post and Courier of Charleston, the settlement gives annuities totaling $1 million to three of Walter Scott’s four children. Scott’s estate will get $3 million, and the three law firms who represented the family will split some $2.4 million.

City officials already approved the proposal in October. It would be the largest such payout in the city’s history.

The settlement headed off a full review of the city’s police department that could have been triggered by a federal civil rights lawsuit.

“If you compare what happened in other cities, such as Baltimore, Ferguson (Missouri) and now Chicago, there is no doubt that the manner the Scott case was handled was a victory for the city of North Charleston, the Scott family and the state of South Carolina,” city attorney Brady Hair said. “No brick was thrown, no building was burned and no violence occurred in the city after this event.”

$17,000 of the settlement will also go to Scott’s former wife pay the back child support he owed at the time of his death. The child support was reportedly one of the reasons the man ran from police that fateful day.

The Scott family attorneys praised the city’s quick attention to the situation.

“Mayor Summey and others in leadership with the city of North Charleston acted quickly to resolve a painful situation for many in this area,” the team said. “The family commends them for their actions and hopes for a positive and productive future for the city.”

With both the family and the city in agreement, it is expected that a judge will approve the arrangement, but no timeline for that action was made public.

The officer who shot Scott, Michael Slager, was indicted on murder charges in June. By September, he was denied bail and ordered held in jail while his case continues. The officer has requested another bond hearing after prosecutors note that they don’t want to start his trial until next November.

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