[WATCH] After KC Police Shot and Paralyzed a Man, His $4.8M Settlement Remained Secret for Years

In November 2013, Kansas City police investigating a reported carjacking shot Philippe Lora — 20 times, according to his attorney — leaving him partly paralyzed.

When Lora filed a lawsuit saying that he was unarmed and that the officers used excessive force, the department paid $4.8 million in one of the largest settlements in the department’s history.

Three months after police agreed to the payment, a panel of high-ranking police officials who reviewed the shooting found no fault with the officers’ training or use of force.

The shooting was presented to a grand jury and no charges were filed. The two officers who shot Lora, Dakota Merrill and Shane Mellot, are still on the force.

Lora, meanwhile, is partly paralyzed and uses a wheelchair. The 41-year-old lives in a new house east of downtown and will require medical treatment for the rest of his life, his attorney says.

The settlement has remained secret for years.

Kansas City police officials said they cannot confirm the settlement exists. But it appears, partly redacted, on a list of the department’s settlement payments.

One of the settlement conditions was that Lora not discuss how he was shot, and he declined to speak with a Star reporter who visited his home.

Lora’s attorney, David Smith, said he thought race was a factor in the case. The alleged carjacking victim, and the officers involved in the shooting, were white. Lora is black.

“I believe race definitely heightened the officers’ fear,” Smith said. “They were told by the alleged victim — a white man from the suburbs on Independence Avenue at 2 a.m. in the morning — that he had been carjacked at gunpoint by a black man.

“However, the police had information that the alleged victim was lying yet went on the wild goose chase for the dangerous black man anyway.”

Smith said Lora did not commit a carjacking and had no gun. Police have no record of finding a gun at the scene of the shooting.

According to police reports, the incident that led to the shooting began about 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2013, when a 36-year-old man called police from a convenience store at Independence and Highland avenues to report that he had been carjacked at gunpoint.

The man told police he had been driving along Independence Avenue when a woman flagged him down and said she needed a ride because she was about to get “jumped.”

For the full story visit: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article172167802.html