KENT, Wash. — The city of Kent has settled with the family of a 20-year-old man who police fatally shot in 2017.
Kent announced a $4.4 million settlement with Giovonn Joseph-McDade’s family Wednesday. The city will also design and install a bench in a city park to memorialize Joseph-McDade.
The officer who killed Joseph-McDade during a police pursuit was cleared of wrongdoing in an inquest after it was determined the officer was in fear of his life. Joseph-McDade refused to stop for police and was shot as the officer said he was driving past him.
During a news conference on Thursday, Joseph-McDade's mother Sonia Joseph said she was "fueled by integrity and equality and justice" and that it wasn't about money.
“Someone’s life was wrongfully taken, and a settlement doesn’t bring them back,” Joseph said. “It’s about raising the bar and holding the cities, the representatives...and the officers accountable.”
A city spokesperson said Kent was fully prepared to litigate the case but recognized it was in the family's and community’s best interest to resolve the lawsuit.
“All loss of life is tragic regardless of the circumstances,” Kent Communications Manager Bailey Stober said in a statement. “Our thoughts and condolences remain with the Joseph-McDade family. This settlement is a step in the right direction to bring closure to the family, the officers involved and the City as a whole.”