The family of 43-year-old Maryland resident William Green, who was killed by police in January, has reached a $20 million settlement with Prince George's County. It is the largest one-time settlement given to the family of a person killed by an on-duty officer in American history.
“I agree with County Executive Alsobrooks that this historic settlement shows that the Black life of William Green and the Black lives of his grieving mother, son and daughter truly matter,” attorney William H. Murphy said after brokering the deal with Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks.
On the night Green was killed, police received reports of a Buick driving recklessly and hitting multiple cars between Silver Hill and Temple Hills, Maryland. Officers caught up to Green in Temple Hills, handcuffed him and place him in a police vehicle. While waiting for a drug recognition expert to arrive, Corporal Michael A. Owen Jr. reportedly fired six shots at Green as he was handcuffed in the police vehicle. Green was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The former Megabus employee leaves behind two children.
“Police are given by this community an awesome and tremendously difficult responsibility of protecting life,” Alsobrooks said.
“They are also likewise given an authority that is not shared by anyone else in this community — and that is the authority to take life. . . . When that trust is abused, it is necessary to take swift and decisive action.”
Owen Jr. was arrested the day after the shooting and suspended without pay. He is now facing second-degree murder charges.
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