A group of people whose car was struck by a police bullet during a downtown melee last fall will receive a $150,000 payout from the city to keep the matter out of court.
The settlement, to be split among the car's six occupants, was unanimously approved by the Ways & Means committee on Monday afternoon.
Officials said in a filing that they felt it was in the city's best interests to settle with the six people — Deshaun Robinson, Devyn O'Curran, Chea Bemah, Caylea Wade, Michael Hughes and Thalia Johnson — rather than allowing the matter to end up in court. The six each filed a complaint.
Efrem Hamilton, the officer who fired the single shot, has been on leave since being relieved of duty in early December pending an Internal Affairs inquiry into the Nov. 20 episode. The case has since been turned over to the Hennepin County attorney's office for possible criminal charges.
Police officials on Monday referred a request for comment to the city attorney.
On the night in question, Hamilton had gone to the scene of a large brawl-turned-shooting near Target Field, authorities said.
When a car that was trying to back away from the chaotic scene struck his squad, he fired a single round at the vehicle, hitting its side. No one was hurt, but the incident prompted strong criticism from police reform groups, who called for Hamilton's firing.
It also triggered an automatic internal review of the incident to determine whether Hamilton acted improperly by firing his handgun.
Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the police union, said the ongoing internal probe precluded him from commenting on any aspect of the case, but added that such investigations can take months to complete.