St. Louis Park Officer Settles After Shooting, Killing Man
A little more than a month after a judge ruled a wrongful-death lawsuit against a St. Louis Park police officer could go forward, the officer and the family have agreed to settle the case.
Officer John Herman was off-duty and had just left the police station after work on Nov. 3, 2009, when he noticed a vehicle stopped in a parking lot. When Ofc. Herman got out of his own vehicle, he said Jason Martin confronted him. An altercation ensued and Herman shot Martin at close range.
A Hennepin County grand jury hearing the case later returned a "no bill," deciding not to indict Ofc. Herman, meaning no charges were filed in Martin's death.
Martin's family filed a civil lawsuit against Herman in federal court.
In late July a judge declined to dismiss the case, finding that certain "evidence indicates that Ofc. Herman was not objectively reasonable in his use of deadly force," and that, "a reasonable jury could find that Ofc. Herman committed a malicious wrong, and therefore he is not entitled to official immunity."
The settlement was reached after a marathon 11 1/2 hour conference Tuesday in St. Paul before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung. According to the minutes of the conference filed Wednesday, the meeting did not end until 9:05pm.
The terms of the confidential settlement have been sealed and are between Ofc. Herman individually - not the city of St. Louis Park - and Martin's family; no taxpayer money will be used.
"Both parties wanted to avoid the risk of trial. And I think the parties were satisfied with the resolution," Andy Marshall, an attorney for Martin's family, told KSTP Wednesday. "I think my clients are relieved to be done with this portion of it and I think they can move on dealing with Jason's loss," said Marshall.
Herman's attorney, Jon Iverson, said, "The tragedy affected many lives, including Ofc. Herman, and the settlement brings the litigation to a close, which is important to all parties."
St. Louis Park Ofc. John Herman pictured above