The family of Marcus Golden has won a massive settlement from the city of St. Paul. Minnesota, just eight years after he was tragically shot and killed by police.
On Jan. 18, city council members approved a $1.3 million settlement that will be awarded to Golden’s family nearly eight years after police killed him. The officers responsible for the 24-year-old’s death will be dismissed from the lawsuit, according to the Star Tribune. St. Paul city council members said that the funds will be granted to Golden’s aunt Monique Cullars-Doty, who has become a prominent voice in the fight against police brutality since her nephew’s death.
“The family of Marcus Golden has long-standing ties to our Saint Paul community, and while we cannot imagine the pain the family feels, we can learn from this tragedy,” Mayor Melvin Carter said in a statement. “The [police] department remains committed to building the skills and expertise necessary for officers to best respond to the varying needs of our community. While Saint Paul has come a long way since the death of Mr. Golden, we still have work to do.”
In addition to monetary damages, the city has agreed to reserve space in Como Park for Golden’s family to build a memorial bench and plaque that will honor his legacy. They will also recruit one of Golden’s family members to join the St. Paul Neighborhood Safety Community Council, according to the report.
What happened to Marcus Golden?
Officers Dan Peck and Jeremy Doverspike shot and killed Marcus Golden on Jan. 14, 2015. On the night of the shooting, the officers responded to a 911 call from a man who was texting death threats from a parking lot near the 200 block of University Avenue E. According to authorities, the caller identified himself as the ex-boyfriend of Golden’s ex-girlfriend. The anonymous caller claimed that Golden stalked him before he began sending the alarming texts. He also alleged that Golden had a gun.
When Peck and Doverspike arrived at the parking lot around 2 a.m., they found Golden parked in an SUV. Allegedly, they asked him to step out of the vehicle, but he refused. Police say Golden accelerated and sped off, nearly hitting Doverspike in the process. The officers quickly opened fire and hit Golden, causing his SUV to crash into parked vehicles nearby. Medics tried to resuscitate the 24-year-old at the scene, but he died hours later.
After searching his vehicle, officials claimed Golden had a loaded gun in his possession. Months later, Golden’s family launched a civil rights investigation into the case. Still, they were delivered an unexpected blow when a Washington County grand jury voted to dismiss Peck and Doverspike of wrongdoing.
Communities United Against Police Brutality helps Golden Family uncover more details surrounding the case.
In a press conference covered by independent journalist Georgia Fort, the Twin-Cities based organization Communities United Against Police Brutality announced its findings that helped Golden’s family secure a settlement. The report reinvestigation workgroup that helped lead to the settlement for Golden’s family. According to the reinvestigation workgroup, members combed through the 594 page investigative report from the St. Paul police department. The group even hired a ballistics expert to aid the reinvestigation.
They found multiple discrepancies in the initial investigation. They also uncovered more details about the events that transpired before the officers shot Golden.
Since Golden’s death, Mayor Carter said that he has been working with the St. Paul Police Department to review its training protocols. In the future, he hopes to take more “active steps to bring about greater transparency in police investigations, including those that involve deadly force.”
The department implemented its body-worn camera system in 2016 “and continues to strive to make the expedited sharing of video a priority for transparency,” the Mayor added.
Watch the full press conference below: