Family Wins One of Biggest Awards Ever Against Baltimore Cops

Kids and parents of Korryn Gaines awarded more than $37M—but some say they may not see it all
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2018 10:01 AM CST
Family Wins One of Biggest Awards Ever Against Baltimore Cops
Rhanda Dormeus, the mother of Korryn Gaines, speaks to the media on Friday in Towson, Md.   (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The children of a 23-year-old woman shot to death by Baltimore cops in 2016 after an hourslong standoff have been awarded more than $37 million in the civil lawsuit against Baltimore County and the police officer who fired the first shot. The Baltimore Sun reports that an all-woman jury, after less than three hours of deliberation, awarded Korryn Gaines' son, Kodi, who was 5 at the time of the incident and injured during it, with more than $32 million in damages, while his younger sister, Karsyn, received $4.5 million. Gaines' mother and father received about $600,000 in total, while her estate was awarded $300,000. Punitive damages weren't given, and the Sun notes that due to caps on local government liability in Maryland, the family may not receive the full amounts of their awards, said to be among the biggest ever awarded against the Baltimore police.

What helped decide the case: the first shot fired by one of the officers, Royce Ruby, which the jury decided was not reasonable. The jury said the Gaineses' civil rights were violated during the incident and that police had committed battery against her and Kodi, per the New York Times; Karsyn wasn't in the apartment at the time. A Baltimore County attorney said in a statement that the county was "disappointed" in the decision and mulling an appeal. "A mother died, a child was unintentionally injured, and police officers were placed in mortal danger. By any account, this was a tragic situation," he notes. Gaines' mother, Rhanda Dormeus, also reacted. "This win is for all of my sisters in the movement who have lost their children to police violence," she told reporters after the verdict, per the Sun. (Read more Korryn Gaines stories.)

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