Jury Awards Family Of Black Man Killed By White Police Officer $4.00
Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr. was fatally shot by police ficers in Fort Pierce, Florida at his own home in 2014. Hill, who was 30 years old, was killed by Christopher Newman, a white police ficer, who was responding to a noise complaint. Allegedly, Hill was playing music in his garage. There were only three witnesses to the shooting, Hill and the two ficers who were on the scene. According to The New York Times, Hill was found dead in his garage with a gun in his back pocket. Police claim that he was holding the weapon during a brief confrontation, but those reports have been disputed.
Hill's family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, which has finally been ruled on by a jury. The jury was tasked with discerning whether or not police used excessive force when dealing with Hill, if the family deserved to be awarded damages, and how much the family should get. The jury decided that Newman did not use excessive force, but his partner may have been minimally negligible in the shooting. They awarded $4 in damages, $1 for funeral expenses and $1 for each child’s loss.
Jurors decided that the sheriff’s fice was only 1 percent at fault in the death, so the $4 award was reduced to four cents. 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. Because that decision, a lawyer for the Hill family said Tuesday that a judge would reduce the four cent award to nothing.