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.
47 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Botham Shem Jean, 261 of 47
2. Antwon Rose Jr., 172 of 47
3. Robert Lawrence White, 413 of 47
4. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 4 of 47
5. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 5 of 47
6. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 6 of 47
7. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 7 of 47
8. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 8 of 47
9. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 9 of 47
10. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 10 of 47
11. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 11 of 47
12. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 12 of 47
13. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 13 of 47
14. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 14 of 47
15. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 15 of 47
16. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 16 of 47
17. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 17 of 47
18. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 18 of 47
19. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 19 of 47
20. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 20 of 47
21. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 21 of 47
22. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 22 of 47
23. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 23 of 47
24. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 24 of 47
25. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 25 of 47
26. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 26 of 47
27. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 27 of 47
28. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 28 of 47
29. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 29 of 47
30. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 30 of 47
31. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 31 of 47
32. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 32 of 47
33. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 33 of 47
34. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 34 of 47
35. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 35 of 47
36. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 36 of 47
37. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 37 of 47
38. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 38 of 47
39. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 39 of 47
40. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 40 of 47
41. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 41 of 47
42. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 42 of 47
43. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 43 of 47
44. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 44 of 47
45. Stephon Clark, 2245 of 47
46. Danny Ray Thomas, 3446 of 47
47. DeJuan Guillory, 2747 of 47
Jury Finds The Life Of A Black Man Killed By Police Is Worth Only A Few Cents was originally published on newsone.com