The Associated Press
Updated: August 20, 2020 06:28 AM
Created: August 20, 2020 06:23 AM
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Mexico city has agreed to pay $6.5 million to the family of Antonio Valenzuela, a Mexican American man who was choked to death by a police officer.
A settlement agreement made public by the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico this week calls for the city to pay the family of Antonio Valenzuela within 30 days and embark on police reforms.
Police say then-Las Cruces Officer Christopher Smelser applied the chokehold after Valenzuela fled during a traffic stop in February.
Valenzuela died at the scene. Smelser was later fired and faces a murder charge.
His lawyer says the charge was a political move.
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