A jury in Florida “awarded” the family of Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr. an insulting $4 after he was shot through his garage door and killed by Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Newman who was responding to a complaint about loud music.
The garage door opened, revealing Hill, who Lopez claimed had a gun. The garage door then closed, and despite the door being shut, Newman proceeded to fire his handgun through the door, hitting Hill three times — twice in the abdomen and once in the head.
Authorities did not realize Hill had been killed until after a SWAT team arrived and released chemicals into the home.
His body was found with an unloaded handgun in his back pocket.
After more than 10 hours of deliberation, the jury found that Newman had not used excessive force, and that his supervisor, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, had shown some negligence.
To be precise, the found Mascara 1% responsible for Hill’s death, and Hill himself to be 99% responsible.
Originally, the jury awarded $1 to funeral expenses and $1 to each of Hill’s children for their loss, but after finding Mascara only 1% responsible, the “award” was reduced to just four cents.
Finally, a toxicology report showed that Hill was intoxicated at the time of the shooting, thereby reducing the “award” to absolutely nothing.
To add to the family’s misery, the SWAT team apparently released so much tear gas into Hill’s home that it is too damaged for anyone to live in it now.
So, in conclusion, Hill’s three children — aged 7, 10, and 13 — have now lost their father and their home.
In a sickening yet unsurprising statement, Mascara defended Newman and celebrated the verdict.
“Newman was placed in a very difficult situation and like so many fellow law enforcement officers must do every day, he made the best decision he could for the safety of his partner, himself and the public given the circumstances he faced.”
The jury was consisted of one black man, two white men, and five white women.
Attorney for the Hill family John Phillips is planning to file for a new trial in U.S. District Court. If denied, he will bring it to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“That a black child’s pain is only worth a dollar is exactly the problem with the plight of the African-American right now. This says, black lives don’t matter.” — Phillips