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Santa Cruz settles lawsuit in police slaying of mentally ill man

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Santa Cruz this week agreed to a $1.6 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by the family of a mentally ill man killed by police in 2016.

Sean Arlt, 32, was shot and killed by Officer Erik Bailey at the end of an 11-minute confrontation on Oct. 16, 2016. Arlt was wielding a rake and refused to drop it despite receiving several commands, according to police.

The District Attorney’s Office determined in February 2017 that Bailey would not face criminal charges for Arlt’s death.

The city said Monday the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by its Police Department or Bailey, but an effort to shorten legal proceedings both for Arlt’s family and the city.

City Manager Martin Bernal said in a statement:

“The death of Sean Arlt was a tragic incident, and I hope this resolution will help heal all parties involved by not reliving this tragedy again in court.”

The city will complete the settlement payment once the funds are approved by the city’s insurance company.

Mayor David Terrazas said in a statement:

“We know that the city of Santa Cruz, its Police Department, and its residents will continue to seek comprehensive collaboration for solutions to address our concerns over the mental health crisis.”

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