COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC4) – On Friday, the family of Zane James — a man shot and killed by police in 2018 — received $4,000,000 in a settlement from the city of Cottonwood Heights.
The Cottonwood Heights insurance provider the Utah Local Governments Trust, settled with the family in response to a police-involved shooting that took place on May 29, 2018, a press release from the city states.
Tiffany James, Zane’s mom, says the family has been in shock all week with the settlement.
“We really really hope this gives other families in our situation the platform to be able to also have similar results and law enforcement and other cities it is no longer acceptable to behave this way,” Tiffany James said.
In May of 2021, the James’ family sued the Cottonwood Heights Police Department alleging that an officer assaulted one of the family members and for the city’s handle on the family’s protest regarding police misconduct following their child’s death.
Investigators say James was running from police after a crash in Cottonwood Heights. James was accused of robbing two stores with an ‘airsoft’ or toy gun loaded with BBs.
Arresting documents show Cottonwood Heights Officer Casey Davies pulled up as Zane was running, opened his car door, and shot Zane in the back as he fled, seriously injuring him.
James died two days later of complications from the shooting.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney said the shooting was not justified and did not open an investigation.
In a statement Cottonwood Heights Mayor Mike Weichers said:
“The city did not support the decision to settle these lawsuits, as we believed the cases in both federal and state courts were on a trajectory to be dismissed. Nevertheless, we respect the Trust’s decision to bring closure to this matter and to eliminate risks associated with a potential jury trial influenced by current anti-law enforcement attitudes in society today. We fully support our police and the very difficult job they have in keeping our community safe. We extend our sincere condolences to the James family on the loss of their son.”
The city went on to state:
“It is important to note that nothing in this settlement admits to any wrongdoing on the part of the city or its former police officer involved with the shooting, which is consistent with the findings of the Salt Lake County District Attorney that Officer Davies was justified in the shooting and there were no prosecutable findings from their review.”
Tiffany says the family may never move forward but at least there is some vindication after this settlement was filed.