NYC Pays $500,000 To End Suit Over Off-Duty Police Shooting


New York City is paying $500,000 to resolve a suit over a fatal off-duty shooting by a police lieutenant who was acquitted of manslaughter and cleared of disciplinary charges in the death. He said he acted in self-defense.

Lt. Shamik Walton and tenant Byron Hearst got into an argument in May 2005 over back rent at a Brooklyn building that Walton owned. Prosecutors said Walton overreacted and fired. Walton said Hearst tried to grab his gun and made him fear for his life.

The Law Department says settling the suit was in the city’s best interest. Scott Rynecki, a lawyer for Hearst’s family, calls the shooting reckless and says it could have been avoided if Walton had been trained properly.