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City of Santa Cruz Settles in Sean Arlt Shooting

Announcing $1.6 million agreement, city hopes to move forward and work on mental health issues

As a family tries to heal, the city of Santa Cruz is attempting to close a controversial chapter in its history, at a cost of $1.6 million.

That’s the settlement the city has reached to resolve a lawsuit brought by the family of Sean Arlt over the police shooting that left Arlt dead in October of 2016.

The Santa Cruz City Council approved a settlement agreement with the Arlt family in exchange for the dismissal of all claims against the city. After a months-long investigation, the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office concluded in February of 2017 that there was no legal wrongdoing on the part of the officer who fired.

Officers from the Santa Cruz Police Department were called to a home on the Westside when Arlt, who was in the midst of a mental health crisis, was pounding on someone’s doors. Police said that, when they arrived, Arlt charged them with a heavy metal rake.

In a press release on Monday, Nov. 20, Mayor David Terrazas expressed a desire “to progress forward” and work collaboratively on mental health issues.

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