Judge Overturns $38M Verdict In Civil Lawsuit Filed By Family Of Korryn Gaines
A Baltimore County judge has overturned the decision of a jury that awarded over $37 million in damages for the tragic death of Korryn Gaines, the 23-year-old woman fatally shot by police after a six-hour standoff in 2016.
Judge Mickey J. Norman, a former state trooper, dismissed the family’s claims against the county and the officer who fatally shot Gaines in response to post-trial motions filed by the county’s attorneys.
According to a nearly 80-page ruling obtained by the Baltimore Sun, Norman wrote that the actions of the police officer that shot Gaines, Cpl. Royce Ruby, were “objectively reasonable” and did not violate Gaines’ Fourth Amendment right against unlawful seizure, as her family had claimed.
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Gaines was killed when local police served arrest warrants on her in August 2016 for failing to appear in court for two separate counts. Upon entry into her apartment, they found her with her boyfriend and her two children. She also had a long gun that she aimed and threatened at police, according to their reports.
After hours of negotiation, cops opened fire when she threatened to kill them, though neighbors gave a different account of events. The police killed Gaines and wounded her now six-year-old son Kodi.
The jury said the shots that killed Gaines and injured Kodi were not reasonable and violated their civil rights, the Baltimore Sun reports. Although police reports say Gaines was armed and had threatened to open fire on officers before she was fatally shot, many feel the officers could have resolved the situation without it turning deadly.
Gaines’ family announced that the planned to appeal the judge’s ruling.
“It’s devastating to a certain extent, but they’re a very faithful family,” said J. Wyndal Gordon, the family’s attorney. “It’s not over.”