Late Wednesday (July 1), a judge ruled in favor of the family of Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old woman who was killed by Baltimore police in 2016. The $38 million verdict that was previously awarded to the family back in 2018, has been reinstated by jurors.
According to WBAL, the jurors believed the “last verdict in the case was inconsistent and found the shooting was not reasonable” and violated the family’s civil rights.
“This is obviously huge for Kodi and the rest of the Gaines family,” family attorney Ken Ravenell said. “The court found that the trial judge violated the law in taking that verdict away. They can now expect that they can collect a significant award in the near future.”
Gaines’ final moments were streamed to social media on August 1, 2016. She and police engaged in a lengthy stand-off once they arrived to the home she shared with her family. Authorities were going to serve her and her boyfriend with arrest warrants. Gaines had failed to appear in court for a traffic ticket and her boyfriend’s warrant stemmed from a domestic incident.
She reportedly had a long history with mental illness and barricaded herself into the home, while holding Kodi, her 5-year-old son, and a shotgun. After almost six hours, two Baltimore County officials went into the home and opened fire. Gaines was fatally shot. Kodi was also shot, but survived.
In 2018, her family won $38 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. The jury found that Officer Royce Ruby, the one who fired the fatal shots, did not act reasonably. However, the county filed an appeal in 2019 and won after Judge Mickey Norman ruled that Ruby’s actions were reasonable.
Kodi will receive $32 million of the judgement. Gaines’ family hopes that police officers can add extra de-escalation measures when dealing with people who have mental health issues.