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Settlement in LAPD's shooting of Ezell Ford takes step forward

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 29: Tritobia Ford lights candles at a memorial for her son, Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old mentally ill black man, at the site where he was shot and killed by two LAPD officers in August, on December 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The long-awaited autopsy report, which was put on a security hold at the request of police and ordered by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to be made public before the end of 2014, was released December 29.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images
Tritobia Ford lights candles at a memorial for her son, Ezell Ford, on December 29, 2014 in Los Angeles.

A settlement between the city of Los Angeles and the family of Ezell Ford appears to be in the final stages, as the city council's Budget and Finance Committee approved a settlement recommendation Monday, clearing it for final approval by the full council.

That vote will likely come next week. The city has tentatively scheduled it for Feb. 8.

Still unclear? The actual dollar amount of the settlement.

The wrongful death lawsuit was brought by Ford's parents Edsell and Tritobia Ford. Their son Ezell was shot and killed by LAPD officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas in South Los Angeles on Aug. 11, 2014.

His shooting attracted intense local interest, and became a focus of the Black Lives Matter protestors in Southern California. Ford, a mentally ill black man, was unarmed when he was shot by the two officers.

The entire incident took just thirteen seconds from the moment officers stepped out of their patrol car to the time shots were fired. Ford was struck by both officers' bullets while on the ground struggling with Wampler.

Last week, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced she would not file criminal charges against the officers. She said the evidence showed that Wampler and Villegas acted out of fear for their lives when they shot Ford.

Previously, a review of the shooting by the Los Angeles Police Commission in June 2015 found aspects of the shooting to be out of department policy. Wampler and Villegas subsequently sued the LAPD, alleging racial discrimination.

No details of the proposed settlement emerged today, as the Budget and Finance Committee considered the settlement in a closed session. That's typical, and the full city council will also discuss the settlement in a closed session.

Previous settlements over LAPD shootings have led to hefty payouts—in some cases in the millions.

There have been several seven figure payouts connected to LAPD shootings, according to City Attorney data obtained by KPCC. The most expensive was a $15 million settlement with a teen who was shot by officers in Glassell Park.

Read more from KPCC investigation into officer-involved shootings in Los Angeles County.