Family of man killed by cop gets 4 cents: Florida jury

Family of man killed by cop gets 4 cents: Florida jury

Deputy Christopher Newman was found not liable, and St Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara was found negligent as named in his official capacity, but was only found to be one percent liable.

The jury awarded $1 to Gregory Hill Jr.'s mother for funeral expenses and $1 to each of Hill's three children for loss of parental companionship, instruction, guidance, mental pain and suffering.

So that $4 was then reduced to just four cents.

The lawsuit filed by Hill's mother in 2016 on the second anniversary of Hill's death, alleged negligence and municipal liability against Mascara. Gregory Hill Jr. was killed in January 2014 after a confrontation with St. Lucie County deputies at his home in the 1500 block of Avenue Q in Fort Pierce.

Jury notes show the foreperson wrote the federal judge to say they couldn't reach a unanimous decision before finally deciding on the family's lawsuit against the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office last week. The jury decided that Newman did not use excessive force, but his partner may have been minimally negligible in the shooting.

Mascara said in a statement, 'We are pleased to see this hard and tragic incident come to a conclusion, ' and expressed his support for Newman's actions.

The sheriff's office said in a statement that Newman was "placed in a very hard situation" and "made the best decision he could for the safety of his partner, himself, and the public given the circumstances he faced". The case also asked the jury to determine if the family was owed any damages, and if so, what about they should receive, according to The New York Times.

"It's heartbreaking", Hill's fiancée, Monique Davis, said.

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Parents picking their children up at the elementary school across the street from Hill's home had called in a noise complaint, concerned that their kids were overhearing the expletive-laden music he had been playing, The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery reported.

According to the New York Times, officers arrived and knocked on the garage door. "Upon information and belief, Deputy Lopez indicated loudly that Hill had a gun and then the garage door closed". According to Hill's family's lawyers, he began to open the garage door, saw the police, and began to close it again when Newman opened fire.

Authorities claimed Hill had a gun and pointed it at them during the encounter, but that's now in dispute, as investigators located an unloaded gun in the slain father's pocket after the shooting, according to The New York Times. The 30-year-old was shot in his head and twice in his abdomen. Toxicology would later show Hill was intoxicated, to the point he could not legally drive.

Investigators identified his weapon as a 9mm handgun, which was later found to be unloaded. Phillips said that although he had deferred to the jury, he had signaled in court that the estate was seeking at least several hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Hill's fiancee called the verdict a "slap in the face", and the family's lawyer is preparing an appeal, saying he can't tell whether the jury was angry, or just confused.

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

"This one'll haunt me for a long time if we can't get it reversed", he said. "That's the only way I'm going to get peace".

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