Family of man killed by cop gets 4 cents: Florida jury

Family of man killed by cop gets 4 cents: Florida jury

Family of man killed by cop gets 4 cents: Florida jury

In 2014, two officers with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office in Florida went to Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr.'s home for a noise complaint.

30, in 2014 after a mother picking up her child at a school across the street called in a noise complaint. A SWAT team eventually opened the door to find Hill dead.

@JoyAnnReid This was my 2nd death over loud music. this time by police. When the door started back down, Newman fired, killing Hill. And after a brief encounter with the deputies, he was discovered dead inside the garage with a gun in his back pocket; the deputies said he had been holding it during their confrontation, though that claim is in dispute.

Jury notes show the foreperson wrote the federal judge to say they couldn't reach a unanimous decision before finally deciding on the family's lawsuit against the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office last week.

The suit also alleged that Newman, who already had been cleared by a grand jury, violated her son's Fourth Amendment right to be free from excessive force resulting in a wrongful death under Florida law.

The jury awarded $4 in damages - $1 to Hill's mother, Viola Bryant, for funeral expenses and $1 to each of Hill's three children for loss of parental companionship, instruction, guidance, mental pain and suffering.

Because the jury assigned just 1 percent of negligence to Mascara, that $4 in damages was automatically reduced to 4 cents, Phillips said. Hill's toxicology report showed that he was intoxicated during the altercation, so the jurors claimed that he was mostly at fault for the shooting.

The family's lawyer said that he feels the jury's amount was disrespectful to the case.

Phillips said he would have preferred for the jury to have found that there was no negligence than to have found that there was and awarded such paltry damages.

"There was a tug of war somewhere in there", Hill's fiancée, Monique Davis, said.

An attorney representing Hill's estate and family said evidence suggested the unloaded gun never left Hill's back pocket. Newman, he added, "was placed in a very hard situation, and like so many law enforcement officers must do every day, he made the best decision he could given the circumstances he faced".

"I don't get it", Phillips said plainly. After almost two weeks of trial and 10 hours of deliberation last month, a jury sided with police and found that Newman did nothing wrong.

Hill's fiancee called the verdict a "slap in the face", and the family's lawyer is preparing an appeal, saying he can't tell whether the jury was angry, or just confused. "We appreciate the jurys time and understanding".

"I won't give up until proper justice is served", she said. They said Hill was ordered to drop the weapon, but instead raised it toward Lopez's direction as he was closing the door.

Phillips said he will file a motion for a retrial. "That's the only way I'm going to get peace".

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