Family of Zane James speaks out after settlement reached with Cottonwood Heights

Jul 6, 2022, 7:07 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:29 am
The family of Zane James reacts to settlement with Cottonwood Heights city....
Attorney Sam Meziani from the law firm of Goebel Anderson speaks as he joins with the family of Zane James at a press conference at the Cottonwood Heights city offices on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Zane was shot and killed by then-Officer Casey Davis on May 29, 2018. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah —  The family of Zane James said they are grateful to the community for their love and support, speaking to reporters at Cottonwood Heights City Hall on Tuesday.  Family spokesman, Sam Meziana said the settlement the family agreed to, in excess of $4 million, means their loved one Zane James was valued.

“It’s a vindication of his life,” said Meziana. “Zane was 19, came from a loving family and made some poor decisions on the day of the shooting, but those decisions should not result in a death sentence.”

 A police patrol car hit James on May 29, 2018, when he was reportedly fleeing the scene of a robbery. He was then shot by Officer Casey Davies.  Authorities said James was wanted in connection with multiple robberies.  James died from his injuries two days later.

The family subsequently filed a lawsuit over James’ death. On July 1, Cottonwood Heights’ insurance provider — the Utah Local Governments Trust — settled the family’s claims.

On Tuesday night, family members had their say.  Zane’s mother, Tiffany James, said her distrust of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department runs deep.

“It doesn’t matter if you have an addiction, it doesn’t matter if you have a mental health challenge, it doesn’t matter if you’ve committed a crime. That penalty shouldn’t be death. We have a criminal justice system to manage those things,” said James.

Zane’s father, Aaron James, who was found guilty of interfering with an arresting officer on a roadway during a protest in August 2020, told reporters and supporters gathered Tuesday night that the family hopes the case will help hasten police reform.

The City of Cottonwood Heights said the settlement to the family does not constitute an admittance of any wrongdoing, and that they support their police department fully.  A news release stated the city does not support the settlement decision but hopes it brings closure to the family and other loved ones of James.

Originally, Salt Lake County D.A. Sim Gill had concluded that Officer Davies was justified in the use of deadly force.  However,  in February, prosecutors reopened the investigation.

In May, Gill reversed those findings, concluding the officer was not legally justified in hitting the 19-year-old with his police cruiser but declined to file any criminal charges against Davies. Davies is no longer with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Police arrested a 31-year-old man Monday morning after he allegedly threatened anoth...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City police arrest man after road rage incident, involving a gun

A 31-year-old man was arrested early Monday morning following a road rage incident. Police say the suspect allegedly threatened another person with a gun.
2 days ago
inversion is pictured in a Herriman neighborhood...
Adam Small

Inversion could build again this week

As of late, Air quality has improved along the Wasatch Front, but inversion may rebuild in the coming days depending on winter storms.
2 days ago
Two hands holding a green plant by the soil above empty pots...
Michelle Lee

Transplanting houseplants? Here are some tips!

SALT LAKE CITY – If you’re growing houseplants, there’s something you need to be familiar with, and that is transplanting. Transplanting houseplants is something you have to do every so often, depending on the type of plant. “Some houseplants will go for several years without needing it, and others need to be transplanted at least […]
5 days ago
Salt Lake City Police say three sticks of dynamite were safely removed from a house this week by it...
Mark Jones

Three sticks of dynamite removed from Salt Lake City home

Three sticks of dynamite were removed from a Salt Lake City home on Wednesday, the SLCPD announced. The dynamite have been seized for investigation.
5 days ago
Follow @SimoneSeikaly...
Simone Seikaly

Elk herd again on the move near Foothill Drive and Parley’s Canyon

Drivers near Foothill Drive and Parley's Canyon were warned to remain vigilant as officials worked to move the herd.
5 days ago
Salt Lake City Police are investigating a fatal stabbing at the Palmer Court Apartments on Thursday...
Mark Jones

One person dead following a stabbing in Salt Lake City suspect still at large

One person died following a stabbing in Salt Lake City on Thursday afternoon, according to Salt Lake City Police. Police are still searching for a suspect.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Family of Zane James speaks out after settlement reached with Cottonwood Heights