City, police department settle Arlt suit for $1.6M

Michael Todd, Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 19, 2018
SANTA CRUZ The city reached a $1.6 million settlement to resolve a suit by relatives of Sean Arlt, whom police shot and killed in the Westside while investigating a disturbance call more than two years ago. ... Arlt, 32, was shot about 330 a.m. after authorities said he was causing a disturbance at the home of an acquaintance, pounding on the door and making threats. The Arlt family filed suit in U.S. District Court in April 2017 in opposition to an apparent code of silence in the investigation of the deadly officer-involved shooting. The claim called for release of evidence, asserted claims of wrongful death and sought damages from Santa Cruz Police Departments involved officers. Oakland attorney Michael Haddad, representing the family, said the suit also was intended to prevent unlawful lethal force by Santa Cruz Police Department. Haddad previously said the federal courts were the sole avenue by which the Arlt family could receive evidence in the case. The complaint alleged police officers placed themselves in a position of avoidable danger. Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell in February 2017 confirmed that charges will not be filed against the police department. This settlement reflects our desire for the Arlt family, the city and community to progress forward, Mayor David Terrazas said. We know that the City of Santa Cruz, its police department and its residents will continue to seek comprehensive collaboration, for solutions to address our concerns over the mental health crisis. City Manager Martn Bernal said the settlement was fiscally responsible when compared to the financial realities and risks of proceeding to trial.

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