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New York Will Pay Eric Garner Family $5.9 Million To Avoid Lawsuit


Just under $6 million. That's how much New York City has agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of Eric Garner. The settlement comes almost a year after Eric Garner died after police placed him in a chokehold during an arrest. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: There was no indictment by a grand jury after Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died in police custody last July. He was being arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. Garner's family planned to file a civil lawsuit against the city. And their lawyer, Jonathan Moore, says in a perfect world, they would've gone to trial.

JONATHAN MOORE: But this was a family that suffered greatly from this tragedy, and they need to move on in an environment where they don't have to worry about their day-to-day existence.

WANG: Moore says the $5.9 million dollars will help to support Garner's widow, mother and five children. But the settlement means the city does not admit liability for Garner's death.

SCOTT STRINGER: Mr. Garner's death is a touchstone in our city's history and in the history of the entire nation.

WANG: Scott Stringer, New York City's controller, negotiated the deal on the city's behalf. He says settling was in the city's best financial interest in a case that's forced the country to re-examine race and police-community relations.

STRINGER: This case certainly symbolized some of the trouble and the challenges that we face. But look, we have to get this right.

WANG: Eric Garner's family has also reached a separate settlement with the hospital that sent responders to the scene. That amount, though, is confidential. Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Hansi Lo Wang (he/him) is a national correspondent for NPR reporting on the people, power and money behind the U.S. census.