The city of Portland will pay $2.3 million to settle a federal lawsuit by William Kyle Monroe, a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder who was permanently disabled after Police Officer Dane Reister mistakenly fired lethal rounds at him from a beanbag shotgun in 2011, The Oregonian reports. The proposed settlement, the largest in the city’s history, came after city attorneys and Monroe’s lawyer Thane Tienson had a mediation session with U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken. It must still go before the City Council for approval.
“This was clearly a situation that should have been handled without the need of force,” Tienson said. “Monroe was simply acting weirdly. Reister put himself on the call, barking out commands — the completely wrong way to approach it.” Tienson hopes that the significant sum will spur meaningful police reforms — “not only in training, but in the way the Police Bureau responds to claims of people who are in emotional crisis. The record speaks for itself. How many times do we need to have huge settlements before they realize they need to do things differently?” Reister has pleaded not guilty to charges of third- and fourth- degree assault and negligent wounding. He remains on paid leave. The settlement will help pay ongoing costs and lost wages for Monroe, who was 20 when he was shot.