Suffolk County Agrees $1.75M Settlement With Family of Man Shot by Police in 2011

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A New York county has reached a $1.75 million agreement with the family of a man who was shot and killed by police in his house in 2011.

Suffolk County, on Long Island, has decided to pay the payment to Kevin Callahan’s family, said County Legislator Rob Trotta, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, on Friday.

The Republican said the accord was accepted Thursday by his committee, which authorizes major county settlements. He declined to comment further.

A lawyer representing Callahan’s family in a federal lawsuit against the county over the shooting death described the deal as fair.

“Nothing will bring back Kevin, but after 13 years, his family is at peace with the resolution and glad not to have to sit through a trial,” said Bruce Barket, his attorney.

Callahan, a 26-year-old Selden resident, was shot and killed by a Suffolk County police officer responding to a 911 call at his house in September 2011.


Callahan’s brother, Christopher, had called police after reporting that his brother had told them there was a man with a pistol inside the home. It was unclear to whom Callahan was referring.

However, the family alleged in their complaint against the county that the responding officer used excessive force. Police said that when the officer came, Callahan attacked him. The officer then shot him because he thought Callahan was attempting to seize his pistol.

Lou Civello, president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, stated on Friday that Thomas Wilson, the now-retired officer, performed lawfully and by his training.

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“Police officers are forced to make split-second, life-and-death decisions, and even if you do everything right, you have a tragic outcome,” he told reporters. “We hope this settlement brings the family some closure.”

This month’s settlement was reached before the Callahan family’s case was scheduled for a fresh federal trial on June 12. The civil case went to trial in 2015, and the jury ruled in favor of the county. However, the family appealed ABCNews stated.

According to federal court papers, representatives for the family notified the court on June 10 that they had struck an arrangement. The case was dismissed the next day.

Spokespeople for the county executive’s office and the police department did not reply to requests for comment Friday.

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