King County, Washington has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a claim by the family of Anthony Chilcott, who was shot and killed by deputies after stealing a hot-rod pickup truck and a pet poodle, according to the family’s attorney.
The November 2019 incident was sharply criticized by investigators and resulted in the termination of one of the officers involved.
In a rare move, the claim filed against the county by Chilcott’s mother and sister, Monica Crotty and Amanda Castro, both now living in Texas, was resolved before a lawsuit was filed and involved a face-to-face meeting with interim Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall, a representative of the civil division of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the county’s risk manager, according to attorney Tony Russo.
Russo said all three parties made a “sincere apology” to the family and that the sheriff’s office has promised to implement reforms recommended in a critical review of Chilcott’s shooting. The reforms involve limits on the use of plainclothes officers and focus on de-escalation methods and techniques that an internal investigation found were lacking or ignored during the incident that killed Chilcott.
“Your decision to participate in utmost good faith in an early resolution of the family’s claim that culminated in today’s settlement should help all of us turn the page on this unnecessary and tragic loss of life,” Russo wrote in a Thursday email to the county following mediation. “That act of humanity, even more so than the $2.5 million dollar settlement, demonstrated an acceptance of responsibility by leadership of King County and will help the family on the long road to healing.”