ROCKFORD, Illinois — Although the city of Rockford has settled one lawsuit regarding the 2009 police shooting death an unarmed black man, another lawsuit is still pending.
The city announced a $1.1 million settlement this week with the estate of 23-year-old Mark Anthony Barmore, who was fatally shot inside a church-run day care by two white police officers. The second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kingdom Authority International Ministries Church, which operates the day care, and families of 12 children who were there when Barmore was shot, the Rockford Register Star (http://bit.ly/1xrf64o ) reported.
The Rev. Melvin Brown said the city "hasn't done right" by the day care or the children. He said the children are still "in bad shape" after witnessing the shooting.
The lawsuit is seeking compensation for the emotional distress of the children who were present, the emotional distress of the day care operators and loss of revenue to the church. City lawyers have argued there isn't enough evidence to support claims from the children or the church.
In August 2009, Officers Stan North and Oda Poole chased Barmore, who was wanted for questioning in a domestic abuse case, into a basement at House of Grace Daycare and Preschool after being told by dispatchers Barmore was considered armed and dangerous.
The officers did not evacuate the day care before to removing Barmore from a boiler room. Physical evidence supported claims that Barmore tried to take Poole's gun before he was shot in the back, according to court documents and a city-commissioned report.
Although the city's independent report determined the shooting was justified, it said the officers used poor tactics and violated Rockford Police Department policies and training.
The lawsuit involving the church was moved from federal to state court in October. Arguments are expected next month.
Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com
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