The 2013 wrongful-death civil lawsuit filed by Kendra Diggs’ children was settled for $850,000 after months of negotiations. A Baltimore city jury approved the settlement earlier this week.
On May 7, 2013, two Baltimore police officers responded to a call at the 1100 block of North Parrish Street for a domestic disturbance. When the officers arrived on the scene, Diggs was inside the home with the door locked. Diggs was calling out for help, but did not respond when the officers knocked on the door. After kicking in the door, Diggs was escorted outside to the sidewalk in front of the house.
Diggs lived in the home with Officer James Walton Smith, her fiancée. While standing on the sidewalk with one of the officers, Smith starting shooting from the second-floor window, hitting Diggs in the head.
According to the lawsuit, Diggs’ two children allege that the two officers, who responded to the disturbance, were negligent and “assumed a special relationship to protect her.”
“They took her out front, directly in the line of fire when they knew Officer Smith was armed,” attorney A. Dwight Pettit said in an interview.
The lawsuit also alleges that the officers took cover, but failed to rescue or shield Diggs, before she was fatally shot by a second bullet from Smith’s gun.
After barricading himself in the home for several hours, police arrested and transported him to the local jail, where he took his own life.
Officers Andrew Groman and Antoine Lewis were named as defendants in the case. A year later, Groman was shot during a routine traffic stop.