Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tarika Wilson's Family Gets $2.5 Million

The family of an unarmed black woman who was shot and killed by a white police officer during a drug raid has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city for $2.5 million.

The death of Tarika Wilson, 26, ignited protests and debate about race relations in Lima, a northwestern Ohio city where one in four residents is black. Wilson was holding her 1-year-old son in her arms when she died. The child also was shot and later had a finger amputated.

Police Sgt. Joseph Chavalia, who killed Wilson, was acquitted of criminal charges in her death and has since returned to work, although he is no longer allowed to patrol the streets.

The Columbus Dispatch

You cannot put a price tag on the value of someone's life. That being said, I am always curious how cities and states come up with these payout figures. A $2.5 million dollar nest egg will do wonders for Tarika Wilson's children, but no amount of money can replace the loss of their mother.

My prayers go out to the Wilson family and the man who took her life. I am hard on police officers from time to time, but I realize they have a tough job. This shooting apparently happened during a drug bust/arrest. I understand that law enforcement officials cannot be timid when they attempt to apprehend pushers. This officer's recklessness could be attributed to his fear that his own life might be taken. His actions are inexcusable, but I think I understand his line of thinking. Stories like this make me appreciate my life even more. You never know when your time on this Earth will to an end.

One day you're here baby
And then you're gone