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Prince George County Police Cruiser
Prince George County Police Cruiser
(Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Family Reaches $20 Million Settlement After Fatal Police Shooting of William Green

The former officer who fatally shot William Green, Michael Owen Jr. was arrested and charged with murder a day after the incident.

On Monday, Prince George’s County, Maryland announced a $20 million settlement with the family of William Howard Green, a Black man fatally shot by an officer in January. 

"Prince George's County has reached a settlement agreement with the Green family for $20 million," County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said according to CNN. "To be clear, there is no price that you can put on the life of a son, a father, and uncle, a brother. There is no appropriate price tag to accompany a loss like that. We believe that the actions taken that night against Mr. Green, and ultimately taken against his family, warrant this settlement." 

Green was in the front seat of a police cruiser with his hands cuffed behind his back when he was shot seven times by former corporeal Michael Owen Jr. The officer was not alone when the incident took place, he and another cop were reportedly responding to a call about Green slamming his car into other vehicles. 

The arrest took place because the officers believed he was “under the influence” and called for a “drug recognition expert.” The officers were said to have been waiting for the expert to arrive while Green was sitting in the front seat of the police cruiser, but then he was shot. He died shortly after being rushed to a hospital. 

Details of the incident are a bit unclear as Owen wasn’t wearing a body camera. Police previously stated witnesses saw a struggle between Owen and Green. There’s no evidence to back this up, per Complex. Owen alleged Green attempted to grab his gun, yet experts noted this was impossible.

A day after the incident Police Chief Hank Stawinksi shared Owen had been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He also faces manslaughter and weapons charges. That same day he stated, “I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime. There are no circumstances under which this outcome is acceptable.”