On Tuesday, Michael Brown’s parents received a $1.5 million settlement after filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson.
It’s obvious that no amount of money will ever repay the unjust death of a loved one, moreover the conditions of the settlement the city of Ferguson made with Michael Brown‘s family are too shameful to ignore. First of fall, the amount of the settlement stands no comparison with other multimillion-dollar payouts given to other families of Black victims of police shootings.
The settlement was, however, on par with one particular shooting in Maryland ― except, in this case, the family was white and the victim was their pet dog. In May, a jury awarded $1.26 million to a family whose pet was shot and killed by Anne Arundel County police Officer Rodney Price in February 2014.
“The verdict sends a strong message to the police about … community expectations,” Cary J. Hansel, counsel for the plaintiff, wrote in the release. “The duty to serve and protect extends to our animal family members as well. Shooting Vern was senseless, unnecessary and unconstitutional.”
And here we have the full right to ask what message the sum paid to Michael Brown‘s family sends. Does it represent the real attitude of the authorities towards Black people? Is it the real cost of a Black life? The answer is out there. U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber, wrote that the amount is a “fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death claim and is in the best interests of each Plaintiff.” That’s a shame!