The city has reached a legal settlement of almost $500,000 with relatives of a woman shot and killed by a Galveston police officer in 2017.
The relatives of Toni Jo Collins filed a lawsuit in July that asserted city officials influenced the investigation of the events in favor of the officers.
The city agreed Feb. 1 to pay $475,000 to settle the lawsuit Collins’ relatives had filed against the city and officer Evan Fraley, city spokeswoman Marissa Barnett said.
The lawsuit, brought by Collins’ father, Bobby Jack Collins, and Leisa Collins, whose relationship to the woman was unclear, claimed that it had been unnecessary for Fraley to shoot Collins.
City officials declined to comment on the settlement Friday. The settlement money will come from a public entry risk fund, which is the city’s insurance, instead of the general fund, Barnett said.
Fraley, who is no longer employed by the Galveston Police Department, shot and killed Collins on March 9, 2017, while he was off duty and in plain clothes.
He reported seeing Collins brandishing a rifle as he approached two people arguing, police said.
This weapon was a pink Daisy BB gun or air rifle, according to the lawsuit.
Fraley shot Collins after a brief confrontation and she was pronounced dead shortly thereafter, according to police reports.
The lawsuit asserted the officer should have had other options and that the city caused the investigation to conclude Fraley had been in fear of his life and was justified in using deadly force.
The lawsuit noted Fraley is 6 feet, 8 inches tall, while Collins is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and that police officials helped Fraley find a new job with the Hutto Police Department.
A Galveston County grand jury declined to indict Fraley in December 2017, a decision the lawsuit asserted was influenced by city officials to benefit the officer.