Miami commissioners on Thursday reluctantly agreed to pay almost $1 million to the estate of an unarmed man killed by a Miami police officer four years ago.
The family of Travis McNeil will receive $975,000. McNeil was shot Feb. 10, 2011, by Officer Reynaldo Goyos during a traffic stop. Goyos was participating in a federal anti-gang task force when he shot McNeil and McNeil’s cousin, Kareem Washington.
The shooting was the last in a string of deadly encounters between Miami police and black men, prompting a review of department shootings by the U.S. Department of Justice. It was among the most controversial, because McNeil was armed not with a gun, but with a cell phone.
In an interview with WLRN Thursday, Sheila McNeil said no amount of money will bring her closure after Miami commissioners agreed to a nearly $1 million settlement to her son’s estate.
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“That pain does not go away,” she said.
She said the one positive thing out of the settlement is that her grandchildren, Travis’s 14-year old son and seven-year old daughter, will be financially comfortable. But she wishes her son was still here to be a father to his kids.
Travis McNeil Jr. turned 14 in November. He is an honor roll student, but McNeil said she worries about her grandson. who sometimes asks, “Why did the police kill my daddy?”
Miami police continue to negotiate a settlement with the Justice Department, which found in 2013 that the police department had engaged in a pattern of excessive force when it came to pulling the trigger.
Also on Thursday, commissioners:
- Gave final approval — again — to an amended development agreement for the massive Miami Worldcenter project in Park West. The developers of the project, which is receiving $88 million in tax rebates from the city’s Overtown community redevelopment agency, asked the city to bring back the development agreement for a re-vote after the process approving it the first time in the fall was challenged in a lawsuit.
- Passed a responsible-wage ordinance that will require city brick-and-mortar contractors to pay their workers wages negotiated between the city and labor unions. Contractors working on private projects built on public land will also have to follow the law.
WLRN reporter Nadege Green contributed to this report.