A $500,000 settlement was awarded Wednesday night to the family of a 38-year-old homeless man who was fatally shot more than two years ago by a North Las Vegas police officer.
With no discussion, the North Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday voted 4-0 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by relatives of the slain man, David Robinson, who died from gunshot wounds to the head on March 10, 2014. Mayor John Lee was out of town.
The settlement was reached July 21 with help from a mediator, a city report from City Attorney Sandra Morgan shows. The city admits no wrongdoing.
In the report, Morgan advised the council to approve the settlement “to eliminate any potential risk of an adverse verdict and to save money on further defending this matter.” City officials didn’t say how much money was spent to defend North Las Vegas over the last two years.
Robinson’s son, David Robinson Jr., and widow, Dennia, could not be reached for comment. Their attorney, Ramzy Ladah, said that he was barred from commenting as a condition in the settlement.
The North Las Vegas Police Department declined to comment.
According to the lawsuit, Robinson was walking near Tonopah Avenue and Woodward Street around 1 a.m. on March 10 when North Las Vegas police officer Raymond Lopez approached him.
“Then, suddenly and without warning, defendant Raymond Lopez drew and discharged his firearm without proper cause or reason,” the complaint alleged.
At the time of the shooting, police said Robinson was uncooperative when Lopez stopped him and backed away from the officer. Lopez later shot Robinson in the backyard of an abandoned home.
The lawsuit was filed against Lopez, the North Las Vegas Police Department and then-police Chief Joseph Chronister. Among the complaints, the lawsuit alleged Lopez was not properly trained, used excessive force and acted with malice and conscious disregard. Lopez had worked for the department for five years and resigned shortly after the shooting.
Contact Art Marroquin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.