City of Santa Clara pays $5 million settlement to family of man shot to death by police

The city of Santa Clara has agreed to pay $5.3 million to settle a lawsuit over the deadly police shooting of an unarmed, mentally-ill man in 2017.

The city is not admitting any liability in agreeing to the payout to the family of Jesus Geney-Montes, 24, who had been threatening suicide.

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Santa Clara police Officer Colin Stewart, who shot Geney-Montes, was cleared of criminal liability by the Santa Clara County district attorney's office. 

Police were on their fifth call that day to the home where Geney-Montes lived with his mother and stepfather, Amanda and Richard Sommers. Authorities say he stabbed himself and threatened to shoot police. 

At one point, Geney-Montes ran from his home along a trail. 

Authorities said Stewart fired his Taser and then four shots from his gun when Geney-Montes charged at him. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office cleared Stewart of any legal wrongdoing.

"Hopefully going forward this wont happen again," said the family's attorney Fulvio Cajina. noting that Santa Clara police have changed some of their policies in how officers respond to calls involving mentally ill people.

"We won't be able to get Jesus back, but at the very least we hope that this lawsuit will prevent another future death under these sorts of circumstances," Cajina said.

In a statement, Santa Clara city officials said in part, "The city recognizes the grief and ongoing loss for the Sommers family, and it is with the sincere hope that settling this case will help the family begin to deal with the loss of their son."

The officer fired the shots is still with the department and is now a sergeant.