Baltimore County jury awards $37M to family of police shooting victim

Korryn Gaines

Korryn Gaines

A county attorney implored the jury to look past sympathy for Kodi Gaines in finding Ruby acted reasonably in firing on Korryn Gaines, saying, "He was protecting himself. which is his right". None of the money awarded was for punitive damages.

The jury awarded $32 million to Kodi, $300,000 to Korryn Gaines' father, $300,000 to Korryn Gaines' mother, $300,000 to Korryn Gaines' estate, and $4.5 million to Karsyn Courtney, Korryn Gaines' daughter. Kamenetz, a Democrat, is running for governor.

Gaines had broadcast part of the standoff on social media. The document stated that Gaines failed to show up in court to dispute a traffic discrepancy, but she didn't trust the validity of the papers so she remained enclosed in her home as the officers were armed outside. He said the first officer who entered the apartment was "confronted with Korryn Gaines with a shotgun pointed right at him".

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The case garnered national attention, with some activists citing it as an instance of excessive police force, the newspaper reported.

James Ruckle, an assistant county attorney representing Ruby and the county, told jurors during the trial that "police officers are allowed to use deadly force if they believe there is an imminent threat of death or bodily injury to themselves or other officers", according to the Sun. No criminal charges were brought against the officers, which led Gaines' family to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

"If you don't leave, I'm going to kill you". Though Ruby was wearing tactical gear, including a protective vest and helmet, his arms, legs and face were exposed, Ruckle said. Mr. Ravenell said the officer knew the child was in the kitchen and "allegedly could only see braids of Ms. Gaines's hair and the barrel of a shotgun" when he "took a blind shot through the drywall". He heard her rack [the shotgun] twice. "Maryland does have a cap on non-economic damages but the federal constitutional claim, 42 U.S.C 1983, has no cap on damages", said Ravenell. The 23-year-old was also stopped in March 2016 for driving with a "Free Traveler" cardboard sign, as a placeholder for a license plate, according to The Baltimore Sun. Ravenell called Ruby's decision to fire "reckless".

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"He's a victim of an unreasonable shot by Ruby that should not have occurred", he said. She was trying to livestream the encounter with police, authorities said at the time.

Gaines was fatally shot in a daylong standoff with Baltimore County police in August 2016.

In a dramatic moment, Landon White, another family attorney, pointed to rows of police officers seated in the gallery behind Ruby in the courtroom.

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In Griffin's testimony, he said he witnessed Gaines in possession of a firearm as the officers peeked through a crack in the front door. "Only one took a shot". Ruby is still a member of the Baltimore Police Department.

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