Family gets $1.5M after Little Rock cops enters man’s home without warrant, fatally shoots him

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An attorney for the family of a black man fatally shot by Little Rock police in 2010 says the roughly $1.5 million settlement in the family’s lawsuit marks the largest settlement in the city’s history for a police shooting.

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The city agreed Friday to pay the family of Eugene Ellison $900,000 and formally apologize. Attorney Mike Laux says that brings the total settlement in the family’s lawsuit to about $1.5 million, when added to the agreement reached in April with the apartment complex where the shooting occurred.

Laux says that’s the largest settlement in Little Rock history for such a case, and likely the state.

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Laux says the apology from the city is more important to Ellison’s sons, one of whom is a Little Rock police lieutenant and another who is a former Little Rock police officer.

Ellison was shot after the two off-duty officers who were working security at the building entered Ellison’s apartment without a warrant. The lawsuit alleged that one of the officers improperly used deadly force by shooting Ellison following an argument and scuffle.

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Neither of the officers, who are both white, was criminally charged. Both remain on the Little Rock police force.

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