Baltimore to Pay $400k settlement to Man Shot by Police Officers in 2013


Baltimore officials have agreed to a $400,000 settlement with a man who sued the city after he was shot by police in January 2013.

Shaun Mouzon, 35, was shot by officers after they said in charging documents that Mouzon drove his car at them. But Mouzon’s attorney, A. Dwight Pettit, said surveillance camera video he obtained from the city showed none of the officers appeared to be standing directly in front of the car as Mouzon slowly pulled off and fled the area.

“We were confident with the video amplified and put before a jury,” along with expert testimony, that “we could make the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Pettit said. But instead of going to trial, Mouzon accepted an offer from the city, Pettit said.

The terms of the settlement were filed in federal court Monday, and still must go before the city’s Board of Estimates for approval. The spending panel is controlled by Mayor Catherine E. Pugh.

Interim Baltimore Solicitor David Ralph and Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for the mayor, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Through his attorney, Mouzon declined to comment. The settlement agreement includes a non-disparagement clause that prohibits plaintiffs from discussing the settlement publicly.

The settlement comes the same week that city and state officials approved a combined $1 million to settle a suit filed after 44-year-old Tyrone West died in 2013 during an altercation with police during a traffic stop in Northeast Baltimore.

Mouzon filed a lawsuit in April 2014 against the city and several police officers involved in the shooting that occurred in January 2013. The suit was later amended after Pettit received the surveillance video from the city.

Officers wrote in charging documents that they suspected Mouzon had a handgun and they attempted to stop him.

The video shows Mouzon’s vehicle pulling into traffic at a stoplight on Edmondson Avenue in Southwest Baltimore, with several officers following in an unmarked patrol car, their lights activated. Officers run up to the driver’s and passenger sides, but it’s unclear when the officers begin firing.

An officer said he saw Mouzon reach down with his right hand between the seat and center console. Mouzon then “let off the brakes and began to accelerate toward the officers in front of the vehicle. At this time, a police involved shooting occurred,” the charging documents said.

In the video, none of the officers appear to be standing directly in front of the car as it slowly pulls off and flees the area. Pettit said the video shows officers firing even before the vehicle starts to move, and that an expert witness would have testified to that if the case had gone to trial.

The three officers who opened fire on Mouzon’s car were cleared of wrongdoing by the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office in July 2013.

Mouzon was charged with one count of having a handgun in a vehicle, one count of illegal possession of a handgun, a charge of failing to obey a lawful order, and traffic violations, all of which were later dropped.

Pettit said no gun was ever recovered.

He said his client is still recovering from injuries suffered from the shooting.

“He’s going to be going to recovering all of his life. He has future surgeries,” Pettit said.