$20M Settlement In PG Police Shooting of Handcuffed Man

Largo, Maryland (Monday, September 28, 2020) – Prince George’s County has reached a $20 million settlement with the family of William Green.  He’s the unarmed Black man fatally shot by officer Michael Owen, Jr. last January while handcuffed in a police cruiser.

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks made the settlement announcement this morning while joined by the Green family along with their attorney Billy Murphy.  “This settlement in no way makes up for the loss experienced by Mr. Green’s mother, children and family,” said Alsobrooks. “However, when we are wrong, and we need to take responsibility, we will. When we need to make reforms in our police department, we will; and in circumstances where we must defend our department, we will.”

The officer accused of fatally shooting Green has since been fired and now faces a barrage of charges.  Owen was arrested not long after the shooting and charged with second degree murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, first-degree assault, and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.

On the evening of January 27, Prince George’s County Police took Mr. Green into custody following a series of car collisions. Mr. Green was subsequently handcuffed behind his back and placed in the front passenger seat of Prince George’s County Police Department Corporal Michael Owen’s cruiser. A short time later, Owen fired seven shots from inside his police cruiser, six of which struck Mr. Green, killing him. It was initially stated by the officer that Green, who was handcuffed, attempted to gain control of his weapon, but use-of-force specialists within the department were unable to corroborate that. Owen was charged with murder and taken into custody less than 24 hours after the shooting.

“The number here reflected the heinous nature, the brutal nature, the senseless nature of what happened to Mr. Green,” said Murphy.