SALEM, Ore. — The city of Salem has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a suicidal man fatally shot by police four years ago.
A Salem police corporal shot Chase Hammer after his girlfriend called police to say he had a gun and was threatening to kill himself.
The lawsuit said police did not try to negotiate with Hammer and failed to warn him that he would be shot if he did not follow commands.
“It was just like a deer in the headlights,” Steve Hammer, the man’s father, told the Statesman Journal after the October 2012 shooting.
The father said Chase took one step forward —defying police orders — and was shot twice in the chest.
A grand jury cleared the corporal of any wrongdoing.
Daniel Atchison, Salem’s city attorney, said in a statement Monday that officers followed all standards and protocols.
“In an effort to bring the best possible resolution of the matter for the parties, the city worked with family representatives to mutually agree on a settlement,” Atchison said.
The city also agreed to establish a protocol for interacting with family members of people shot by police, develop a more comprehensive policy for interacting with people who have mental health problems and review the police department’s response to suicide calls over the past five years.
Hammer’s family “hopes the resolution of this case will prompt these necessary changes to ensure both officers and community members make it home safely,” said the family’s lawyer, Ashlee Albies.
A family statement Monday said Hammer, 27, was kind and loving and deeply devoted to his two young daughters.