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Austin Mayor Pro Tem on Record $1.25M Settlement

Updated: Friday, August 8 2014, 09:29 AM CDT

The City of Austin agrees to pay a record $1.25 million to settle a claim over an officer-involved deadly shooting. The money will go to Larry Jackson Jr.'s young children. Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert shot and killed Jackson last year while responding to an unrelated bank robbery.

"There's no value we can put on the loss of Mr. Jackson's life," said Bobby Taylor, the attorney for Jackson's children.

"One million dollars is the most the city's ever paid," said Taylor. "We're getting $1,250,000 for the three children." Taylor knows his case just set a new precedent that could create a chain reaction.

"After a settlement like this today, my clients' case value has gone up substantially," said attorney Adam Loewy. Loewy is representing Jackson's parents in an upcoming federal civil rights lawsuit against the city.

"This is an admission by the city of Austin that this was excessive force," said Loewy. "You do not pay this kind of money to settle a case if you think the officer was justified in the shooting."

Austin City Council approved the settlement 6-1, but Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole disagrees with Loewy. "When you reach a settlement in a case you're not admitting guilt. We are not admitting guilt as a city," said Cole.  "We are simply saying that we do not want to incur the risk of trial or continue to pay attorney fees."

"We're content. The mother wanted more, we talked about more. We tried to get more from the city but we realized there are other parties in this matter," said Taylor.

Now the focus shifts to the criminal proceedings against retired Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert. "We made it clear to the city we wanted to wait, we wanted to see what happens in this criminal trial because when this officer is convicted criminally, the case that we have will be substantially stronger," said Loewy.

Loewy expects to get the trial date for their federal lawsuit next week.

By Deeda Payton

Austin Mayor Pro Tem on Record $1.25M Settlement

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