Police shooting of unarmed Texas teen settled for $3.25 million

The city council of Austin, Texas, has approved a $3.25 million settlement with the family of African-American teenager David Joseph, who was fatally shot by a city police officer in 2016. The settlement is the largest of its kind sanctioned by the city.

The Austin City Council authorized the settlement on Thursday minutes after Mayor Steve Adler announced the sum, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The settlement stems from a February 8, 2016, encounter during which Officer Geoffrey Freeman, also a black male, fired twice at a nude, unarmed Joseph, 17, in response to calls that a man was harassing residents in a North Austin neighborhood.

Freeman had said he shot at Joseph when the teen charged at him, and that he feared Joseph could overpower him. The former officer became the first member of the department to be fired over a fatal shooting in eight years, the Statesman previously reported.

The use of lethal force by Freeman was found by the Austin Police Department to be unjustified. He was dismissed from the department a month after the fatal shooting. A disciplinary memo released in March 2016 said that Freeman also violated department policies governing response to resistance, people who indicate erratic substance-based behavior and neglect of duty, the Statesman reported.

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