Family Of Fanta Bility, 8-Year-Old Killed By Pennsylvania Police, Granted $11M Settlement

Fanta Bility was killed by police officers in a Philadelphia suburb in August 2021, following a dispute at a high school football game. Now, the Sharon Hill Borough of Pennsylvania has reached an $11 million settlement with her family and other victims of the incident.

Bility, who was eight years old at the time, died after being struck in the back by a bullet fired at a moving car by police officers searching for two teenage suspects. Three other bystanders, including Bility’s 12-year-old sister, were wounded in the shooting. Officers Brian Devaney, Sean Dolan, and Devon Smith were all fired from their positions and placed on probation in May 2023. They also pled guilty to charges of reckless endangerment after striking a deal to reduce their manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter indictments.

“There is no amount of money that will ever bring Fanta back or erase the memory of the horrible tragedy that occurred on August 27, 2021, from our minds,” said Siddiq Kamara, a spokesperson for the Bility family. “However, with the criminal and civil cases now resolved, we hope to move on and focus specifically on the Fanta Bility Foundation and keeping Fanta’s legacy alive.”

The family established the foundation in January 2023 in honor of what would have been Bility’s tenth birthday to “ensure she is never forgotten”.

The settlement will be distributed to the Bility family as well as eight other victims; including two women who were in the car that police mistook as the getaway vehicle. The borough has also announced plans to better train officers in an effort to avoid repeating a tragedy of this magnitude.

“In moving forward, we will continue to mourn with and extend our deepest sympathies to the Bility family,” a statement from Sharon Hill read. “We will also continue to raise the bar by remaining committed to improving and implementing policies to protect against this type of tragedy and working diligently to ensure the safety of Sharon Hill residents while restoring public confidence and trust.”


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