The parents of a 17-year-old boy shot and killed by a Chandler police officer earlier this year will receive a $1.1-million settlement from the city.
Anthony Cano died on Jan. 23 after Officer Chase Bebak-Miller shot him twice in the back three weeks earlier during a police chase that ended in Gazelle Meadows Park.
Without admitting any legal liability, the city settled his family’s claim by paying $1 million to the teenager’s mother and $125,000 for his father.
Had the city not decided to offer a settlement, the case could have resulted in a lengthy court trial.
Cano’s tragic end began after he had run from Bebak-Miller when he attempted to stop the teen for riding a bicycle without a front headlight.
During the chase, Cano attempted to discard a handgun he had been carrying.
Bebak-Miller told investigators he felt compelled to protect himself and use lethal force after noticing Cano was holding a gun. The weapon was later found 20 feet away from where paramedics found Cano.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing whether Bebak-Miller should be criminally charged.
The teenager’s family has repeatedly called for the city to hold Bebak-Miller accountable and to release all its records related to the death investigation.
Despite public protests and online petitions calling for the officer’s termination, Bebak-Miller remains employed by the city.
In late March, Cano’s parents filed a claim against Chandler, notifying city officials they intended to seek up to $10 million in damages for their son’s death.
Greg Kuykendall, the family’s attorney, argued that the officer’s actions were excessive and likely violated the teenager’s civil rights.
“Officer Bebak very obviously intended to cause severe injury to a defenseless child laying on the ground, in conscious disregard to Anthony’s rights and safety,” Kuykendall wrote in the legal claim, which is a precursor to a civil suit.
Kuykendall highlighted the emotional distress Cano’s mother, Kathleen Renee Clum, continues to endure knowing there is body-camera footage of her son’s death available to watch online.
“The likelihood of her being able to successfully avoid viewing the shooting of her child is slim to none,” he added. “She will always be haunted by the knowledge that graphic evidence of Anthony’s killing is all over the internet.”
According to the family’s claim, Cano’s gunshot wounds caused “horrific pain” and severely damaged the teen’s spine, liver, and stomach.
The claimants speculated that Bebak-Miller could have been predisposed to use lethal force due to prior experiences he had in the part of Chandler where the shooting occurred.
About a year before Cano’s death, Bebak-Miller was injured in an unrelated officer-involved shooting near Gazelle Meadows Park.
Bebak-Miller was one of three officers struck by gunfire during a standoff with a suspect who led police on a chase along Delaware Street and set fire to a house.
The settlement for Cano’s family is not the largest Chandler has had to pay for damages caused by police incidents.
In 2002, the city agreed to pay a $2.8-million to the parents of a college student killed during a police chase along McQueen Road.
The city paid a $1.9-million settlement in 2003 after a 35-year-old woman was shot and killed by a Chandler officer outside a Walgreen's after she had passed a forged prescription to the druggist.