The San Francisco City Attorney's Office, in a statement provided by a spokeswoman, said: "We can confirm that we have reached a tentative settlement that contemplates dismissal of the entire lawsuit and no admission of wrongdoing. The terms of the agreement are contingent upon final approval of the Police Department and the Board of Supervisors and are not public at this time."
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced last April his office wouldn't charge Officers Tiffe and Reboli because there was insufficient evidence to do so. The district attorney's investigation remained open for more than two years and delayed the civil case.
"If we cannot show beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers lack a reasonable justification for their actions, then we cannot charge the case," Gascón said when he announced his charging decision. "I cannot, and I will not, file charges or decline to file charges due to pressure from anyone."
The case was complicated by the involvement of another man, Abraham Perez, who was allegedly fighting with Perez Lopez in the street before police arrived.
According to the district attorney's analysis, Reboli detained Perez in the street and was moving him toward the sidewalk as Tiffe tried to grab Perez Lopez, who broke away and allegedly slashed at the officer with "a very large knife," according to a summary of Tiffe's statement to investigators.
Perez Lopez then allegedly ran toward Reboli, who was coming to Tiffe's aid. Tiffe fired once and Reboli fired five times.
According to a summary of Tiffe's statement to investigators: "He didn’t know exactly where Abraham P. was at that point but believed he was very close and thought that Perez Lopez was going after him, so he fired his weapon one time and saw Perez Lopez fall to the ground.”
Civilian witnesses, including two of Perez Lopez's roommates, disputed the officers' account.
Florencia Rojo, a neighbor, helped broker a meeting between the witnesses and district attorney's investigators in April 2016.
"I think about his friends who witnessed the shooting, who have been through so much," Rojo said after KQED informed her that the civil case had tentatively settled. "There’s a part of me that is relieved that they don’t have to go to trial and live through this another time without any guarantee."
She added: "There’s a part of me that wanted the truth to be exposed of what happened. The city really is responsible for this death. The police are responsible for this death."
Casillas said Monday that his firm spent over $100,000 preparing to bring a lawsuit in the case to trial, including retaining expert witnesses to rebut the district attorney's findings.
"Every aspect of the district attorney’s basis for their refusal to prosecute the officers here was contradicted by our experts," Casillas said. "Because of the settlement that won’t get much public light."
Casillas said he can't disclose the terms of the settlement, but said it contains no conditions and is simply a payment to Perez Lopez's parents, Juan Perez and Margarita Lopez Perez, who live in rural Guatemala.