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City settles APD shooting case for $900k

Natalie Gomez, sister of Alan Gomez, holds a sign with a picture of her brother at a rally protesting the use of lethal force by Albuquerque police. Alan Gomez, 22, was fatally shot while holding a plastic spoon and walking away from police May 10, 2010. (Greg Sorber/Journal)
Natalie Gomez, sister of Alan Gomez, holds a sign with a picture of her brother at a rally protesting the use of lethal force by Albuquerque police. Alan Gomez, 22, was fatally shot while holding a plastic spoon and walking away from police May 10, 2010. (Greg Sorber/Journal)
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The city of Albuquerque has agreed to pay $900,000 to the family of a man shot and killed by police in 2011, according to the law firm representing the family.

Alan Gomez was shot by officer Sean Wallace on May 10, 2011, after his brother’s girlfriend called police. Police have said they believed Gomez was holding his brother and girlfriend hostage. Gomez was unarmed at the time he was shot.

SEAN WALLACE.

Officer Sean Wallace.

Gomez’ father, Michael, has been active in the effort to reform APD.

The Fine law firm represented the Gomez family. It also won a $4.25 million verdict in another shooting case involving Andrew Lopez, and settled on behalf of the Roderick Jones’ family for $950,000.

City Attorney David Tourek said the settlement made economic and legal sense.

“Settlement decisions are made in a deliberative and collaborative process before a multi-member claims review board,” he said in written statement. “Considering that even … a 5 percent finding of fault against the city would have resulted in a sizeable amount of mandatory legal fees the committee deemed the best economic, legal, and policy decision for the city and APD was to resolve this case through settlement.”

The shooting was officer Wallace’s third. Prosecutors later cleared Wallace of any wrongdoing in the Gomez case.

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