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Jury awards family $37 million in Baltimore County wrongful death suit
March 22 2018, 05:46 | Irvin Gilbert
A jury awarded the family of Korryn Gaines with $37 million for her wrongful shooting in Randallstown
The jury awarded more than $32 million to Kodi, $4.5 million to his younger sister, Karsyn; $307,000 to Gaines' mother; $300,000 to Gaines' father, and $300,000 to her estate.
Ruckle said Ruby chose to shoot after he saw Gaines' braids and the barrel of her shotgun rise from behind a wall.
Ruby shot and killed Gaines on August 1, 2016, during a confrontation in Randallstown, a suburb northwest of Baltimore City.
"This win is for all of my sisters in the movement who have lost their children to police violence", said Gaines' mother, Rhanda Dormeus, to reporters after the verdict.
Baltimore County government attorney Mike Field issued a statement afterward saying the county was disappointed with the decision and was reviewing all options, including a possible appeal. "By any account, this was a tragic situation", Field said in the statement.
The county executive and local fraternal order of police group also did not return requests for comment.
"There was no choice", Ruby testified. "I just want to tell them that this win is for them", Dormeus said.
Her five-year-old son was next to her and she streamed the incident live on Instagram. Gaines was with her 5-year-old son at the time, who was shot twice on the scene.
"We know this is a blessing from God that the jury understood that the police actions in this case were inappropriate, that the police officer's use of excessive force and the shooting were unjustified and unreasonable", Ravenell said.
The plaintiffs claimed six of Ruby's fellow officers said under oath that they were not in Korryn Gaines' line of fire and never felt unsafe. No criminal charges were brought against the officers, which led Gaines' family to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The county defense attorney, Assistant County Attorney James S. Ruckle Jr., argued that Ruby acted to save his life and the lives of other officers.
Following the verdict announcement, Gaines's family's lawyer was outside the Maryland courtroom and was speaking to news reporters while wearing the controversial National Football League player, Colin Kaepernick jersey.
The boy was shot in a limb and taken to the hospital.
Kenneth Ravenell, the lawyer for Kodi's father, Corey Cunningham, told The Washington Post that damages for the boy would be helpful for a lifetime of counselling and psychological treatment.
They waited outside the door for about 10 minutes, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said shortly after the shooting.
He said that when Ruby fired through the doorway and a wall toward Gaines, he aimed to where he thought Gaines was, and high enough to be above Kodi's head, in case the boy was near his mother.
At one point, Kodi went to the kitchen and Gaines followed him.
"Gaines' son was shot in the face by the same bullet that entered Gaines' back, pierced her lungs bilaterally, traveled through her spine, then exited her body, ricocheting off the refrigerator, and ultimately striking and embedding in her son's face", Gordon continued. He was a coward, ' Gordon said. "He waited for the opportune time to make that decision", Gordon said.
In a dramatic moment, Landon White, another family attorney, pointed to rows of police officers seated in the gallery behind Ruby in the courtroom. Kodi was also shot in the arm. There is talking that is hard to discern but there is no apparent conversation between the officer and Gaines.