City Agrees To $5.5 Million Settlement For Leon Ford

Jan 17, 2018

The City of Pittsburgh has agreed to pay a $5.5 million settlement to Leon Ford, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh Police at a traffic stop in 2012.

After a lengthy trial in October, Detective Andrew Miller, who was involved in the incident, was cleared of all violations. A jury deadlocked on claims against Officer David Derbish in the federal civil lawsuit. Derbish shot Ford five times.

In a joint statement issued by Mayor Bill Peduto and Ford, the deal is called “an amicable resolution” that will provide “closure.”

“It’s closure in the sense that [the case is] no longer open. When you’re talking about justice, that’s another story,” said Brandi Fisher, president of the Alliance for Police Accountability. “This is an inkling of justice. The only inkling that was left for Leon to receive. We’re just ecstatic that he has finally come to see that.”

Fisher’s organization and the Black Political Empowerment Project called for a settlement after last year’s trial.

“I think it was time. The money was right. And I think Leon realized that he has greater works to do in his life than litigate this matter," said Fred Rabner, Ford's attorney.

Pittsburgh City Paper named Ford its "Pittsburgher of the Year" for 2017, pointing his public speaking work and his new gig as a local "entrepreneur in residence" for California-based venture capital firm Bronze Investments.