WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas officials will pay $3.5 million to the family of a man who was killed in 2017 with a homemade beanbag round fired by a Barber County undersheriff at close range.
An attorney for the family said in a written statement Monday that Barber County will pay the amount to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by the widow of Steven Myers, who was unarmed and following law enforcement commands when he was shot ön Oct. 6, 2017, by Barber County Undersheriff Virgil “Dusty” Brewer.
“This is one of the toughest things I have ever had to do besides losing him and having to deal with being a widow,” said Kristina Myers.
Bodycam footage from October 6, 2017, shows the moment Kristina’s husband Steven Myers was killed after being shot by the Barber County Undersheriff with a bean bag gun.
“It was absolutely shocking and unbelievable,” she added. “I could not fathom what actually had just happened.”
Nearly three years later and her family still grieves the loss of Steven. She says her children, even the youngest at just four years old, have trust issues with law enforcement.
“She knows a police officer shot her father and she is scared of them and the same with the other two,” Myers said. “There is nothing I can do to help that except try to repair the relationship when the new administration takes over.”
Myers says the $3.5 million settlement gives her family relief but her focus moving forward is to advocate for the life of her husband and men like George Floyd in Minnesota who died while in police custody last week.
“This is not fun. It is not something I wanted to do. This is not an enjoyable day for me,” Myers said. “We will do whatever we can do to help make this a safer community and a safer county and a safer state and a safer nation.”
Brewer is on unpaid leave after being charged in 2018 with reckless involuntary manslaughter in Myers’ death. Brewer will be back in court for a pre-trial hearing on July 30.
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