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Buffalo may pay $4.5 million settlement to man shot by police

Shooting happened in 2012 on E. Side
Man with serious injuries from hit-and-run in Buffalo
Posted at 1:39 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 18:17:09-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo taxpayers may soon pay a $4.5 million settlement to a man who was shot seven years ago by Buffalo police.

On June 24, 2012, police said Wilson Morales led them on a high-speed chase at 3 a.m. on the East Side that ended in two officers, Karl Schultz and Jason Whitenight, firing shots into the van driven by Morales.

The officers said Morales, while the officers were approaching the van, reversed quickly and nearly struck them.

The Buffalo News in 2012 reported the officers were cleared of wrongdoing, but documents filed this week with the Common Council show city attorneys want the council to settle the case “based on the facts and legal analysis” included in a “confidential write-up” given to all members of the Common Council.

The memo from city lawyers to the council said Morales, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, sought damages "for serious and permanent personal injuries" arising from the incident. The News reported in 2012 that Morales was charged with assaulting a police officer and unlawfully fleeing, but it is unclear whether those charges were prosecuted or dropped.

Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen declined to say whether he planned to vote for the settlement at the next meeting of the council’s claims committee.

Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo Police spokesman, did not immediately respond to an email requesting an interview with the officers or with police officials about the case. Morales could not be reached for comment.