The life a Black man who was killed by an officer under unclear circumstances was worth little to nothing, according to a federal court jury’s recent verdict in Florida.
The family of Gregory Hill, who was killed after a St. Lucie County deputy shot through Hill’s garage in 2014, was awarded a grand total of four cents. The jury blamed the 30-year-old Coca-Cola warehouse worker for his own death.
It wasn’t clear exactly what happened in the encounter between Hill and two deputies who responded to a complaint about loud, obscene music coming from Hill’s home, according to the New York Times. There was also no video evidence or independent witnesses—only the police version.
Deputy Christopher Newman and his partner, Deputy Edward Lopez, reportedly knocked on Hill’s door to resolve the complaint. The garage door opened, and Hill stood facing the officers with his left hand on the garage door and his right hand down. When Hill tried to close the door, Newman pulled out his gun and fired four times through the garage as it came down. A SWAT team arrived later at the scene and found Hill dead with an unloaded 9mm handgun in his back pocket. The officers claimed that Hill was holding the gun when they shot him. A toxicology report found that Hill was drunk during the encounter.
Officials and juries have put a range of price tags on Black lives following police shootings over the past few years.
A Baltimore jury awarded Korryn Gaines’ family more than $37 million in February in a civil right lawsuit. The 23-year-old mother was shot and killed in an August 2016 armed standoff with police in Baltimore County. Jurors believed the police used excessive force to end the standoff.
The jury in Hill’s case didn’t believe that the officers used excessive force, finding that Hill was 99 percent liable for his own death. They placed 1 percent of the blame on the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Department. Newman, who had been cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, was found not liable.
Jurors initially awarded $4 in damages to Hill’s family. That sum was reduced to four cents because it was ruled that the sheriff was only 1 percent liable.
43 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 1 of 46
2. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 2 of 46
3. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 3 of 46
4. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 4 of 46
5. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 5 of 46
6. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 6 of 46
7. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 7 of 46
8. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 8 of 46
9. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 9 of 46
10. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 10 of 46
11. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 11 of 46
12. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 12 of 46
13. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 13 of 46
14. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 14 of 46
15. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 15 of 46
16. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 16 of 46
17. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 17 of 46
18. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 18 of 46
19. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 19 of 46
20. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 20 of 46
21. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 21 of 46
22. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 22 of 46
23. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 23 of 46
24. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 24 of 46
25. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 25 of 46
26. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 26 of 46
27. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 27 of 46
28. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 28 of 46
29. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 29 of 46
30. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 30 of 46
31. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 31 of 46
32. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 32 of 46
33. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 33 of 46
34. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 34 of 46
35. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 35 of 46
36. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 36 of 46
37. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 37 of 46
38. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 38 of 46
39. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 39 of 46
40. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 40 of 46
41. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 41 of 46
42. Stephon Clark, 2242 of 46
43. Danny Ray Thomas, 3443 of 46
44. DeJuan Guillory, 2744 of 46
45. DeJuan Guillory, 2745 of 46
46. DeJuan Guillory, 2746 of 46
Jury Finds The Life Of A Black Man Killed By Police Is Worth Only A Few Cents was originally published on newsone.com