Family Of Black Man Killed By Cop Awarded Only $4 By Florida Jury
A Florida jury has awarded the family of a man fatally shot by a police officer four dollars.
In 2014, Gregory Vaughn Hill was killed inside his own home when Christopher Newman, a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Deputy, was responding to a noise complaint, according to a report from the New York Times.
Hill had reportedly been playing loud, obscene music in his garage while a nearby middle school let out for the day. When officers knocked on his front door, Hill opened the garage door, saw the police, and began closing it again. At that point, Newman fired four shots through the door, with two rounds hitting Hill in the body and one hitting him in the head.
During an investigation that occurred after the shooting, officers found an unloaded gun in Hill’s back pocket. The 30-year-old was also heavily intoxicated when the shooting occurred.
Almost four years after the incident, a federal jury in Florida awarded Hill’s family with four dollars. One dollar went to Hill’s mother for funeral expenses and one dollar went to each of his children for their pain and suffering. The amount was reduced even further to four cents when the sheriff’s office was found to be just one percent liable, meaning the department was only responsible for four cents out of the total awarded sum.
The jury argued that Hill was 99 percent liable for his own shooting death because he’d been “under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired.”
The police office released the following statement after the verdict was made.
“I think they were trying to insult the case,” John Phillips, the attorney for Hill’s family, said. “Why go there with the $1? That was the hurtful part.”
“It’s heartbreaking,” Monique Davis, Hill’s fiancée, added. “There are a lot of questions I want to ask.”
Source: New York Times