The full settlement, which still needs judicial approval, adds to a total of more than $16 million paid out for police misconduct since 2004.
Originally posted Dec. 20
The latest development in the long-running wrongful death lawsuit filed by Dan Ficker's family has his mother and fiancee agreeing to settlement talks with the city of Cleveland. In 2011, a Cleveland police officer shot and killed Ficker at his Parma home.
For the full story of how Ficker ended up dead in front of his suburban bungalow, read our 2012 feature on the case. Here's how writer Kyle Swenson sums it up:
On the last day of his life, Ficker and his fiancee, Tiffany Urbach, went to a party at the house of Urbach's cousin in Cleveland. This cousin was married to a Cleveland cop, David Mindek.
The party featured the usual drinking and holiday merry-making. Ficker and Urbach left to hit some bars and head home to Parma. Back at the party Mindek's wife, however, found that $5,000 in jewelry was missing from her bedroom. She immediately suspected Ficker, and relayed her thoughts to her husband. Although he was off-duty at the time, Mindek contacted a friend in the department who was then patrolling the Second District. The two drove to Parma, confronting Ficker on his steps as he an Urbach were coming home. Craska shot and killed Ficker in a struggle. A grand jury cleared Craska in the shooting. Mindek was charged — and acquitted — of dereliction of duty.
As we reported this past summer, though, the case was finally scheduled to go trial. If settlement talks break down, the trial is (for now) scheduled for Feb. 13. We'll keep tabs on how the case develops this winter.
Since 2004, the city of Cleveland has paid out more than $16 million in police misconduct and use of force settlements.