The city of Ladue, Missouri, announced on Oct. 2 it has agreed to pay $2 million to a Black woman shot by a white officer following a shoplifting incident at a grocery store in the St. Louis suburb last year.
Former Ladue police officer Julia Crews shot 33-year-old Ashley Hall as she was running away from her in a Schnucks parking lot at Ladue Crossing Plaza.
When Crews, 38, arrived on the scene on April 23, 2019, Hall told the officer she had been assaulted. While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, another officer instructed Hall to sit on the curb. Then Crews tried to handcuff Hall, although she told the woman she was not under arrest, according to the lawsuit documents.
Hall ran away out of fear of “the history of unarmed black individuals being shot by white officers,” the documents said.
Crews shouted: “She’s running away!” before shooting Hall in the back without giving a warning.
“Did you shoot me?” Hall asked, and Crews replied, “Yes, and I’m sorry.”
Crews’ lawyer later said she intended to grab her Taser and accidently grabbed her gun.
Hall, a mother of five, was transported to the hospital in critical condition. She suffered damage to her liver, spleen, diaphragm, lungs, ribs and kidney. According to the suit, she went into cardiac arrest for two minutes.
The incident allegedly began after Hall and another woman removed food from the store without paying. Police said Hall hit a store employee in the face with a bag of stolen items in the process.
Workers allegedly held Hall down to keep her from leaving with items while waiting for the police to arrive.
Hall sued Crews, the city of Ladue, and police Chief Ken Andreski last December on claims of excessive force. In the $2 million settlement agreement, the city denied all wrongdoing and liability. The terms dictate that lawyers and people involved in the case cannot discuss the details of the suit.
Crews, who resigned after the shooting, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault charges. Her case remains unresolved.