Marcus Golden's aunt, Monique Cullars-Doty, and his mother, Ericka Cullars-Golden, speak at a "celebration of truth" for Marcus (Elijah Todd-Walden/BLCK Press)
The family of Marcus Golden held what it called a “celebration of truth” Friday, as the city of St. Paul settled with the family for $1.3 million.
The 24-year-old was fatally shot by police officers in 2015. Police claimed that Golden drove his SUV towards officers. But after nearly a decade of reinvestigations done by community support groups, the family finally “cleared Marcus’s good name,” as his aunt, Monique Cullars-Doty, said.
“He loved his family, especially his grandparents and he was always there for them,” Golden’s mother, Ericka Cullars-Golden, said. “He was a laid-back, beautiful soul and he … had a whole life to live, and it was cut short.”
While the city paid out the $1.3 million, it did not acknowledge any wrongdoing and denied all allegations. Toshira Garraway from Families Supporting Families said that while this was a victory, there was still much more to be done.
“I think that these [officers] have been trusted to protect and serve the community, but I believe that for many officers, they let their titles go to their heads,” Garraway said. “The authority that was given to them and entrusted to them. You know, you take an oath to protect and serve, but it seems they are only protecting and serving themselves.”
Amidst food, balloons and friends, family members of Golden spoke of the fond memories they had of him and his brother, Scott Golden, Jr., who had died just five months before Marcus. Their mother expressed her grief at losing two sons.
“I’m really shattered in a million pieces, never to be put back together again.” Cullars-Golden said tearfully. “Just to have lost two children five months apart … I just take each second as it comes, every day … I’m tired of fighting, I just want to find some peace in my life.”
The settlement calls on the city of St. Paul to appoint a member of Golden’s family to the Neighborhood Safety and Community Council, and to install a memorial plaque and bench to Marcus at Como Park.