Slain Teen’s Mom Settles With SF Police

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The mother of a black teenager who was shot to death while running from police who asked him if he’d paid his train fare has settled her wrongful death claims against San Francisco.
     U.S. District Judge William Orrick dismissed the case with prejudice Wednesday.
     Should any party alert the court that a settlement has not occurred within 90 days, “this order shall be vacated and this cause shall be restored to the calendar for further proceedings,” the order states.
     Denika Chatman sued the City and County of San Francisco, its police chief, and Officers Matthew Lopez and Richard Hastings in July 2012 for the wrongful death of her son, Kenneth Harding Jr.
     Harding was 19 when Lopez and Hastings allegedly shot him to death around 4:30 p.m. on July 16, 2011 at the Oakdale/Palou Muni Station.
     Chatman claimed that Lopez and Hastings approached her son as got off the T-train and asked him if he had paid his fare.
     When Harding turned and ran, the officers drew their guns and shot him though he was not armed, Chatman says.
     Rather than offer her son medical care, Hastings and Lopez simply watched as he “writh[ed] in pain with blood gushing out of his neck” and bled to death in front of them and several other witnesses, according to the original complaint.
     Chatman claimed the San Francisco Police Department ignored her attempts to gain information about her son’s death and refused to discipline the officers involved, thus tacitly approving their unjustifiable use of deadly force.
     Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
     Chatman is represented by John Burris of Oakland.

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