The family of Korryn Gaines, a 26-year-old woman, who was shot and killed by Baltimore County police officer, Royce Ruby, has been awarded $37 million after a jury ruled that the officer’s actions were not “objectively reasonable.”
In 2016, Korryn Gaines was killed during an exhausting six-hour standoff at her apartment. Gaines was pointing a shotgun at officers who were trying to serve her an arrest warrant which stemmed from a traffic stop, according to CBS. During the standoff, Korryn’s son Kodi, who was 5-years-old at the time, was being shielded by Korryn and was wounded when his mother was shot.
Three-weeks worth of testimony was heard by the all-female jury and took a few hours to deliberate.
According to attorneys for Gaines’ family, officers used excessive force when they shot her and injured Kodi Gaines. The family’s attorney also stated that the Baltimore County police were reckless and irresponsible. They also claimed the officers violated Korryn Gaines’ rights by illegally entering her apartment.
Korryn Gaines’ son will receive $32 million out of the $37 million. Korryn’s daughter, Karsyn Courtney, was awarded $4.5 million. Both Korryn’s mother and father received $300,000. The Gaines estate was also awarded an additional $300,000, according to the Huffington Post.
Korryn’s mother, Rhanda Doremus, spoke to the press outside the courthouse after the civil trial.
“My daughter will never be back, I don’t care how many dollars they give us — $38, $108 million, I couldn’t get my daughter back if I begged for it.”
The family’s attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, wore a Colin Kaepernick jersey while making his statements outside the courthouse.
“We’re ecstatic… This was a long journey to justice. A lot of hard work. A lot of sleepless nights… the jury did their work, they came up with a verdict that they believe was fair. They came up with an award that they felt was just. And we don’t have anything else to ask.”
Korryn Gaines’ family stated that Officer Ruby “knowingly assassinated” Korryn and still wishes to see Officer Ruby fired, according to CBS.
— Rick Ritter (@RickRitterWJZ) February 16, 2018
“This guy knowingly assassinated my daughter and injured my grandson.”
The family says the verdict makes a significant statement for those who have been victimized by police officers.
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) January 13, 2017
Baltimore County Attorney, Mike Field, issued the following statement after the verdict.
“A mother died, a child was unintentionally injured, and police officers were placed in mortal danger. By any account, this was a tragic situation. The County is disappointed with the verdict and is reviewing all of its options, including an appeal.”
On the morning of August 1, 2016, Baltimore police officers went to Gaines’ apartment to serve her an arrest warrant. The warrant also included charges for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and several traffic violations. The officers repeatedly knocked, however, Korryn sat with her son, recording their interactions and refused to open her door. The police officers then obtained a key from the landlord and entered her apartment.
During the standoff, Korryn published videos on Facebook and Instagram that went viral. In the caption of one of the chilling videos, Korryn wrote, “My son is not a hostage.” Korryn was active on social media and would frequently post her encounters with police officers to her Instagram account.