A delivery driver shot by Philadelphia police officers two years ago has received $4.4 million — the largest settlement of a lawsuit involving a police shooting in city history.
Philippe Holland was a 20-year-old college student in 2014 when two plainclothes cops shot him three times in the head and chest, gravely wounding the young man who was making a food delivery in West Philly.
The officers, responding to reports of gunfire in the area of 51st and Willow streets, said a witness had pointed toward Holland as the origin of the gunshots. But Holland thought he was getting mugged, and dashed for his car. When the officers approached his vehicle, he tried to drive away. That’s when they opened fire, according to reports.
Holland now suffers from a permanent seizure disorder and still has bullet fragments lodged in his brain. He is the recipient of the city’s largest police settlement, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The city announced in a statement Friday that the mistaken shooting of Holland was an impetus for sweeping police reforms, both in how officers interact with the public when they’re out of uniform and the department’s use-of-force policy. The reforms followed a set of recommendations set forth by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015.
“We will strive to ensure that tragedies such as this do not happen again in our city,” Philadelphia City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante said in the statement. “The Philadelphia Police Department has agreed under the settlement to implement a new training protocol for all current and new plainclothes police officers.”
“Of the DOJ’s 91 recommendations, the City has completed 61 as of December 31, 2016, including, among others, instituting training in unconscious bias; establishment of a single investigative unit devoted to criminal investigations of all deadly force incidents; and ensuring that all officers who discharge their firearms will be interviewed within 72 hours of the incident,” the statement concluded.