Family of Black Man Fatally Shot By Police During Mental Health Crisis To Receive $4.7 Million

Terrence Coleman

Boston has reached a settlement of $4.7 million with the mother of Terrence Coleman, a young Black man who was fatally shot by police officers in 2016.

The settlement resolves the wrongful death suit filed by Hope Coleman, with a significant portion of the compensation going to her as a measure of justice for her son’s death.

Terrence Coleman, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was killed by officers after his mother called 911 seeking assistance to bring him indoors during cold weather.

The tragic incident sparked a legal battle that spanned several years, with Hope Coleman fighting tirelessly for accountability.

“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,” Hope Coleman expressed in a written statement. “Nothing can bring Terrence back, but today at least some measure of justice has been done.”

The settlement comes after investigations by the Boston Police and the former Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley’s office.

The official account stated that Terrence attacked emergency medical technicians with a kitchen knife, leading to officers Garrett Boyle and Kevin Finn wrestling him to the ground.

Boyle subsequently shot him twice, resulting in his death at a hospital later.

Former District Attorney Conley defended the officers’ actions, justifying Boyle’s use of deadly force by stating that Terrence had endangered the lives of officers and EMTs.

However, Hope Coleman has consistently disputed these claims.

While the settlement does not entail an admission of liability from the city, it provides financial compensation to Hope Coleman and Terrence Coleman’s estate, covering legal fees and additional expenses.

Attorney Bill Fick, representing Hope Coleman, emphasized the significance of evidence revealing lapses in police procedures that could have prevented the tragedy.

“It is shameful that the City of Boston fought a grieving mother tooth-and-nail for so long,” remarked Sophia Hall, deputy litigation director at Lawyers for Civil Rights, which also represents Hope Coleman. Today, the City has finally stepped up, and this settlement will help bring closure for Ms. Coleman and her family after this years-long legal battle.”