Rachel Hoffman who was murdered execution style after being pressured by police to wear a wire and make a set up buy in 2008. On Friday, the Tallahasse City Commissioners approved a $2.6 million dollar settlement before a wrongful-death suit being persued by Rachel’s parents.
Her parents were preparing to go forward with their lawsuit charging that the police took a young eager college student that got busted for marijuana, and turned her into a confidential informant who went on a buy with $13,000 in marked bills to buy Ecstasy, cocaine and a gun. Never having any training in law enforcement, she was taken away from the approved and surveyed spot, shot five times and had her car, credit card and all the marked money stolen. Police found her body 36 hours after they lost track of her in a roadside ditch 50 miles away, causing her parents untold grief over the terror that must have been her last hours alive.
The murderers were caught, 26-year-old Deneilo Bradshaw and 29-year-old Andrea Green, are serving life sentences in her murder. Jury selection for the lawsuit began last week, and the trial was scheduled to begin today, but in after a closed door session with the attorneys on Friday as they were finishing up jury selection, the city commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the settlment.
Jim English, the city attorney for Tallahasee, Florida said the first $200,000 dollars will be paid by the city in the next couple of weeks. The rest will be paid after the state Legislature passes a “claims bill” which could take years.
But the money isn’t at the heart of the case for Rachel’s parents, who told media on Friday evening they are grateful that this part of it is over. After her death, the Florida legislature passed “Rachel’s law” that required police to adopt new policies to help protect police informants. Police are no longer allowed to tell informants that they will reduce their sentences for cooperating, and informants are allowed to talk to thier lawyers first before they agree to help, something they never offered Rachel Hoffman before that fateful day.