ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL
A Florida jury awarded the family of a man killed by police a judgement of $4. Gregory Hill Jr. was shot and killed by police in the garage of his home in 2014. That is not a typo. FOUR DOLLARS. How the jury came up with that four dollar number? $1 for Hill’s mother for funeral expenses. And $1 apiece for each of Hill’s 3 children. Hill’s fiance’, Monique Davis could not believe what she heard when the verdict was announced. She abruptly left the courtroom after she heard that part of the verdict. Davis was visibly shaken as she left the courtroom.
“My heart just dropped. It was like, are ya’ll serious?” Davis said as she recalled hearing the verdict on that day. NBC News (@NBSNews) reports, Hill, a black man was shot and killed by police in 2014 when they were called to his house by neighbors for complaints of loud music being played. Hill was shot behind his closing garage door by police officer Christopher Newman. A grand jury refused to indict Newman in the shooting, who said Hill had pulled a gun. An unloaded gun was found in Hill’s back pocket. This makes me question Newman’s version of the shooting. Hill was shot through the closing garage door. Newman fired at Hill claiming that his life was in jeopardy because Hill pointed a gun at him. But, when Hill’s body was recovered, he had his weapon in his back pocket? So, from Newman’s account of feeling threatened by Hill having a gun, I’m guessing Hill had the gun in his hand when Newman shot him. So…..Hill, who Newman said had pointed a gun at him, as he was shot and dying, somehow, his only thought as he was dying was to put his gun in his back pocket as he lay on the floor of the garage taking his last breaths? Well, if you believe the Newman version of the story, you can make some sense out of that scenario. I can’t…..and obviously, neither could Gregory Hill’s mother, because she filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Newman and his boss, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara. The case finally went on trial this month. On May 24th a jury cleared Newman. They assigned a small portion of the blame to Mascara (hence the $4 verdict) and the bulk of the blame they placed on Hill…….because he was allegedly drunk…..in the garage of his home. The family’s lawyer was astonished by the judgement.
“I’d rather have seen a zero than have to tell the children that their pain and suffering for losing their father is only a dollar” lawyer John Phillips said on Thursday. Hill’s three children are aged 7, 10, and 13. Because of law, the jury are not required to publicly explain how they came up with their decision. Law also shields juries from being revealed. The jury assigned just 1% blame to Mascara. To add more injury to insult, that means that he’s only responsible for 4 cents of the total $4 verdict. Who’s responsible for paying the family the other $3.96? The deceased, Gregory Hill Jr.