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Officer's PTSD Claim Helped Drive $20 Million Settlement in Fatal Shooting Case

Thursday, October 1, 2020 | 568 | 0 | 13 min read

A Maryland police officer's workers' compensation claim for mental stress played a significant role in a $20 million settlement with the family of a man killed by the officer, according to a news report.

Michael A. Owen Jr.

Michael A. Owen Jr.
(Prince George's County photo)

The Washington Post reported that the settlement, in Prince George's County, outside of Washington, D.C., is one of the largest for someone killed by law enforcement. The settlement was driven after the Post reported that county police missed red flags about the officer, including the fact that he had filed post-traumatic stress disorder claims after a previous fatal shooting.

The officer, Cpl. Michael A. Owen Jr., has been charged in the Jan. 27 death of a handcuffed suspect, William Green, who was in the front seat of a patrol car when he was shot six times. Owen is now in jail, awaiting a criminal trial. He has said he feared that Green was reaching for the officer's firearm.

Under department policy, Owen's supervisors should have been notified of his comp claim and his previous uses of force. The department has said it has closed that loophole, which may have allowed the officer to keep working while facing mental stress issues, the Post reported.

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