Family of man shot, killed by deputy awarded $4

A jury found that a deputy did not violate civil rights in a wrongful death lawsuit.                        WPEC-TV

A jury found that a deputy did not violate civil rights in a wrongful death lawsuit. WPEC-TV

30, in 2014 after a mother picking up her child at a school across the street called in a noise complaint. He heard the music get louder and turned to see the garage door opening. He had been shot three times, including once in the head. "Despite the door being closed, Newman fired his handgun approximately four times and killed Hill".

The family's lawyer, John M. Philips told the Times he would have preferred the jury to have found no negligence than award such insignificant damages, calling the award "hurtful".

A Florida jury has awarded a grieving family US$4 for funeral expenses and pain and suffering in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The jury deliberated for 10 hours on May 24 saying that Sheriff Ken Mascara was negligent, but only 1 percent liable. The police said Hill was holding a gun during the confrontation, and toxicology reports later concluded Hill was intoxicated at the time. Moreover, when jurors found that Hill was inebriated and apparently responsible for Newman firing his weapon, a judge is expected to reduce the four cents to nothing. Another issue is conflicting police testimony about the gun, he said.

Phillips said he would have preferred for the jury to have found that there was no negligence than to have found that there was and awarded such paltry damages.

Phillips said he planned to appeal the verdict and urged people on Twitter to donate to the Hill family.

The only gun recovered was found in Hills back pocket and was not loaded.

"Deputy Newman was placed in a very hard situation, and like so many fellow law enforcement officers must do every day, he made the best decision he could for the safety of his partner, himself, and the public given the circumstances he faced", he said on Facebook.

That convoluted verdict left Phillips wondering whether the jury, after about 10 hours of deliberations, understood what it was doing - and if so, whether the jurors saw the damage amount as some sort of punishment.

Davis called him a family man who loved working and fishing, and always provided for his children.

Phillips disputed that Hill raised his gun toward officers when they confronted him.

"It seems like jurors gave up", said Phillips.

He said he was drafting a motion for a new trial.

The attorney of a family, whose father was shot dead by police inside his own garage, can not imagine how to tell the three children the young man left behind that their "pain and suffering... is only worth a penny", he told RT. "We appreciate the jury's time and understanding". Police later claimed he'd had a gun they told him to drop - a claim never proved - and then said they'd found a gun (unloaded) in Hill's back pocket; they also determined his blood alcohol level was nearly five times the legal limit for driving, though probably pretty close to that of many people getting drunk in their garage while listening to music.

The jury did not think the police used excessive force, but did agree that each child should get $1 for "loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance... and mental pain and suffering", court documents show.

"Im going to fight until I can't fight anymore", Davis said.

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