Jury Awards $4 To Family Of Florida Man Killed By Cop
It was January 2014, in St. Lucie County, Florida. A mother picking up her child at Frances K. Sweet Elementary School heard loud music, the lyrics of which she found offensive. She called the police.
Deputy Christopher Newman and his partner, Deputy Edward Lopez, came to the garage of the house of 30-year old Gregory Hill Jr. Gregory worked at a Coca-Cola warehouse.
Newman knocked on the garage door, but no one responded. He then knocked on the front door, and said that he heard the music get louder. The garage door opened. Gregory stood facing out of the garage with his left hand on the door and his right hand down. He then began closing the garage door. Newman alleged that Gregory brandished a hand gun.
Newman drew his gun and fired through the garage door four times. Gregory was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the head. An unloaded 9mm handgun was found in his back pocket. Gregory was highly intoxicated, but he was in his own home.
City law gives warnings for the first offense for unnecessary noise, a citation for a second offense, and a misdemeanor charge for a third offense. This incident was the first “unnecessary noise” offense against Gregory.
A grand jury cleared Newman. In 2016, Gregory’s mom, represented by Jacksonville attorney John Phillips, filed a civil suit alleging negligence and municipal liability against St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, in his official capacity. Last week after four days of trial, the jury deliberated about 10 hours before finding that St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, in his official capacity, was negligent but was only 1 percent liable. They held Gregory 99 percent liable for the “incident and his resulting injuries.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times;
“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.”
The portion of the award the Sheriff’s Office is reduced to 4 cents to reflect the one percent liability.
Gregory was father to two daughters and a son.
“Attorney John Phillips, who represents Hill’s family, called the ruling “perplexing” and questioned why the jury would award $1 for $11,000 in funeral expenses and another dollar for each child’s suffering when it could have simply awarded no damages.”“That a black child’s pain is only worth a dollar is exactly the problem with the plight of the African-American right now. This says, black lives don’t matter,” he said.Phillips plans to file a motion for a new trial in US District Court, and if that’s denied, he will take it to the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
The jury consisted of one black man, two white men and five white women.
As California attorney David Allen says at the end of his videos, “What have we learned?” We’ve learned that if you’re off work, drink in your own garage and decide to listen to music and turn up the volume, that someone can call the police. We’ve learned that closing the door on your own property while Black is a death sentence. We’ve learned a jury values your burial expense, and the lives of your mom and children to be worth $4.00.
The following video raises excellent points.
Posted on 05/31/2018, in Black lives matter, Cases, Gregory Hill Jr. and tagged $4.00, attorney John Phillips, Deputy Christopher Newman, federal lawsuit, Florida, Gregory Hill, Jacksonville, loud music, verdict. Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.