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Tacoma City Council approves $3.1 million settlement for wrongful death of Bennie Branch

Bennie Branch was killed by a Tacoma police officer during a traffic stop in 2019.

TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma City Council approved a $3.1 million settlement on Tuesday for the wrongful death of Bennie Branch.

Branch was killed by Tacoma police in 2019. He was 24 when he was shot during a traffic stop that September.

"While the settlement is not an admission of legal liability, the city has agreed with the family's representatives that this settlement will allow the parties to avoid the risk and expense of a trial and is an appropriate resolution of this matter at this time," a statement from the city reads.

According to previous information from lawyers for the Branch family, there was a scuffle when Branch was pulled over and a BB gun he had on him became dislodged. Branch was tased but got away and was shot in the back and arms.  

The Tacoma officer who killed Branch was cleared by the county prosecutor of any wrongdoing. 

RELATED: Tacoma police officer cleared of wrongdoing in fatal shooting

The prosecutor said the officer, Ryan Bradley, acted lawfully when he fired 11 shots at Branch, hitting him seven times. 

The prosecutor says the BB gun Branch had on him resembled a handgun and was violent in resisting police. 

Branch's family filed an excessive force claim against the city and the officer. 

A statement from the city says the Tacoma Police Department is working to strengthen community trust, which includes updating its use of force policy, requiring officers to wear body cameras and develop a community service officer program.

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