Philadelphia pays $4.4mn after cops wrongly shoot food deliveryman 14 times
The settlement represents the largest in a police shooting incident in the city's history, Philly.com reports, citing Philadelphia Law Department records.
The settlement dates back to an incident in 2014 when then 20-year-old Philippe Holland was working as food delivery man. He had just dropped off a hamburger at a house when he was confronted by two plainclothes police officers.
During sworn testimony, Hollande said that when he saw the two officers, Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey approaching him, he thought he was about to get robbed. He got into his car on the passenger side to try and get away when one of the men shined a flashlight into the car while the other held a gun.
Philly.com say that Farrell and Hanvey were investigating reports of gunshots in the area.
Spotting the gun, Hollande panicked and attempted to drive away only for the cops to fire 14 bullets into his vehicle, wounding him in the head and chest. Hollande said Farrell and Hanvey never identified themselves as police officers. He has undergone extensive surgery and has been left with a permanent seizure disorder.
"This settlement will not only compensate an innocent citizen who suffered devastating injuries but also served as a catalyst for significant reforms in the way our communities are policed by plainclothes officers,” Holland’s attorney Tom Kline told NBC 10.
“We will strive to ensure that tragedies such as this do not happen again in our city,” Philadelphia City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante said in a statement. Following the incident, the City said that plainclothes officers will undergo new training on identifying themselves and showing their badges.
City prosecutors never filed charges against the two officers who have been on desk duty since the shooting.