Lakewood Pays $3.5 Million Over Friendly Fire Death

By Brian Maass

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The City of Lakewood has paid the widow of police agent James Davies $3.5 million in exchange for the woman dropping a lawsuit she filed over her husband’s line-of-duty death.

Last week, Tamara Davies formally agreed to drop the federal lawsuit she filed against the City of Lakewood and its police department over her husband’s death.

James Davies was shot and killed by a fellow officer who mistook Davies for an armed suspect in November, 2012. The lawsuit claimed the death was preventable. Stacie Oulton, a spokesperson for the City of Lakewood, said the $3.5 million was transferred last week to Tamara Davies.

Officer Jim Davies (credit: Lakewood Police)

Officer Jim Davies (credit: Lakewood Police)

Lakewood City Council voted in May 10-0 in favor of the settlement. As part of the agreement, Lakewood is making no admission of guilt or liability. In settlement documents obtained by CBS4, Lakewood said it was ” … in no way admitting to, insinuating, or representing any fault, wrongdoing, or liability. (Lakewood) expressly deny that they are liable, at fault, or have committed any wrongdoing in relation to the Incident.”

The money comes from Lakewood’s general fund and the settlement followed mediation between Lakewood and Davies.

Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul said, “This decision was not made in haste. It was with great thought that this council considered this and approved this.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Former Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Paletta said James Davies served the department “with honor and distinction.” Paletta said since Davies’ death the department has made nearly 90 changes to the way it does business “to improve public and officer safety.” He said thoughts and prayers are with the Davies family going forward.

“The tragedy of the death of Agent James Davies will never leave the Lakewood Police Department, nor should it. But this settlement does offer another milestone along the way to the path to healing,” said Paletta.

Officer Jim Davies funeral (credit: CBS)

Officer Jim Davies funeral (credit: CBS)

There were no criminal charges against Devaney Braley, the Lakewood agent who shot Davies. At the time, Tami Davies expressed disappointment that no criminal charges were being filed.

Tami Davies did not respond this week to electronic messages from CBS4 regarding the agreement. An attorney for Davies was unavailable for comment on the multi-million-dollar settlement.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

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