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Concord police settle wrongful shooting death
for $1.2 million

(Concord, CA | March 2, 2018) As part of a settlement agreement approved this week with Concord, the city will pay $1.2 million to the family of a 21-year-old Antioch man shot and killed by two officers in 2013. The agreement, approved by the Concord City Council during a closed session on Tuesday, comes weeks before a lawsuit by the family of Charles Burns was scheduled to go to trial. The suit alleged officers killed Burns “intentionally and maliciously” while he was attempting to surrender, by shooting him and mauling him with a police dog.

During the May 2013 incident, Concord officers shot at Burns 11 times. He suffered 10 gunshot wounds, including wounds to his back and front, his right arm, and one that entered through the top of his skull. The officers testified they fired after seeing Burns reach at his waistband and turn toward them, which the plaintiffs strongly refuted.

Though the settlement has been finalized, Burns’ family has not given up its quest to convince prosecutors to charge the two officers involved in the shooting. In 2013, the incident was reviewed by the former District Attorney, who resigned after committing perjury last year, and officers were cleared of criminal wrongdoing. “We’re not done,” said Peter Johnson, an attorney for the family. “I think the officers should be prosecuted.” Johnson said he agreed to settle the suit to avoid putting Burns’ family through an “extremely traumatic” trial, which would have hyper-focused on a detailed, blow-by-blow account of Burns’ last moments. “It seemed like the right thing to do for the family,” Johnson said. “Going through this trial was going to make them relive a trauma in a much more graphic manner than what they’ve had to at this point.”

For more information, contact:
Peter Johnson
Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson
Tel: (925) 952-8900

This news article is also available at the East bay Times.

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