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Boston to pay $4.6M to settle wrongful death suit stemming from police killing of mentally ill man

BOSTON (AP) — The city of Boston will pay about $4.6 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the police killing of a mentally ill man in 2016.

The mother of Terrence Coleman, 31, filed the federal lawsuit six years ago. Hope Coleman had called for an ambulance to take her son to the hospital when Boston police fatally shot him.

Terrence Coleman was a Black man diagnosed with schizophrenia. His mother filed the lawsuit with a goal of bringing change to the way first responders deal with people with mental illnesses.

“No mother should have to witness her child killed at the hands of police and fight, the way that I have had to fight now for so many years, to gain accountability,” said Hope Coleman in a statement. “Nothing can bring Terrence back, but today at least some measure of justice has been done.”

Boston city officials said in a statement Tuesday that the city will pay about $3.4 million to Coleman's mother and estate, along with an additional $1.2 million to cover legal expenses under the terms of the settlement. The city said in a statement that it “acknowledges that its procedural failures within the litigation process delayed resolution of this matter.”

The statement also said the resolution “does not include an admission of liability” by the city and that the city "has invested in alternative response programs for people experiencing mental health episodes, and we are determined to ensure continued support for mental health throughout our neighborhoods.”

Attorneys for Hope Coleman said a judge dismissed the lawsuit on Monday.