The 8-year-old son of a Black man in California who was fatally shot by police in 2018, a death that led to new policing laws, will receive $1.3 million in a lawsuit settlement with the city of Gardena, his lawyers announced, reports NBC News.
Kenneth Ross Jr. was 25 when he was shot by police responding to calls about a man firing a weapon in a park on April, 11, 2018, Gardenia Police said at the time.
Gardena Police Officer Michael Robbins said he “feared for his life,” believing Ross was reaching for a gun, and shot him twice. A handgun was recovered from the scene.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office concluded in 2019 that Robbins acted in “lawful self-defense.” Robbins retired in 2020.
Attorneys Carl Douglas and Jamon Hicks, who represented Ross’ son, announced the settlement Wednesday. Hicks told NBC News the Gardena Police Department did not admit any wrongdoing in the case, however, “with a settlement amount of more than $1.3 million, we believe that speaks volumes.”
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Kenneth Ross Jr. Police Decertification Act of 2021 also known as SB2. The law decertifies law enforcement officers convicted for misconduct or serious crimes — such as excessive force or demonstration of bias — and prevents them from moving to different police departments.
The family hailed the law as a major victory in police accountability.
“Today’s vote is proof that when we fight, we win,” Fouzia Almarou, Ross’ mother, said in a news release at the time. “No mother should have to live with the kind of pain that I live with every day. This Act gives us the ability to decertify cops who kill and abuse our people.”