Springfield to pay $700,000 to panhandler

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(SPRINGIFELD, Mo., AP) — The city of Springfield has agreed to pay $700,000 to an unarmed panhandler who was shot in the back by a police officer while he was running away from a Wal-Mart.
The Springfield News-Leader reports (http://sgfnow.co/1CHEItp) the city announced the settlement amount to Eric Butts on Thursday. He suffered severe internal injuries on May 9. His attorney says his medical bills have totaled more than $216,000.
Officer Jason Shuck says he got his gun and Taser mixed up. He was sentenced Wednesday to two years of unsupervised probation and has agreed to never again work a job where he would carry a firearm.
The city says the payment will be made from its general fund reserves because Butts was shot before its officers were covered by liability insurance.