After deliberating for about three hours, jurors ruled that Baltimore County police Officer Royce Ruby did not act reasonably in the fatal shooting of Gaines and the wounding of her son, Kodi, in August 2016.
The jury awarded the family more than $36 million, including actual medical and funeral expenses and non-economic damages (pain and suffering). No punitive damages were awarded.
The jury awarded $32 million to Kodi, $300,000 to Korryn Gaines’ father, $300,000 to Korryn Gaines’ mother, $300,000 to Korryn Gaines’ estate, and $4.5 million to Karsyn Courtney, Korryn Gaines’ daughter.
Gaines’ family was crying and hugging in the courtroom after the jury verdict was read. Ruby did not flinch as the verdict and damages were read.
“I don’t know how anyone can just extinguish a life, then hide behind a badge,” Korryn Gaines’ mother, Rhanda Dormeus, said. “I can’t even get out of bed to do my activities of daily life. I was a registered nurse, a psychiatric nurse. This has ripped me apart. I am not mad with Officer Ruby. I don’t have any space to be mad because my heart is too broken.”
Well they extinguished her life because she refused to follow police orders and pointed a shotgun at the police. Not a smart way to behave, but she got Uppity as a high bred negro. Uppity! Loaded with affirmative action and easy money, her middle class life led her to believe she was above the police and their orders as a free negress.
“For Kodi, it means a lot. Now he’s going to be able to get the help he needs. It’s a sad situation what happened, and I’m very glad the jury came back and saw what was going on in that courtroom was’t right, and what happened Aug. 1 wasn’t right either,” Korryn Gaines’ father, Corey Cunningham, said.
“This is a great day. This is a great statement on behalf of many who have been victimized by police officers — too many in our community. This is a great day,” said Ken Ravenell, attorney for Kodi Gaines.
“Korryn is smiling today. She got her day in court,” said J. Wyndal Gordon, the attorney for the Gaines family.
Baltimore County Attorney Mike Field issued a statement, saying, “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.”
In September 2016, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said no criminal charges would be filed against the officers involved. Ruby was promoted after the shooting.
“I hope that Shellenberger is now second-guessing his decision. I have no degree of faith that he would reconsider it,” Gordon said.
“This guy knowingly assassinated my daughter and injured my grandson to, I believe, beyond repair with post-traumatic stress,” Dormeus said. “This win is for all of my sisters in the movement who have lost their children to police violence. Some of them have never received justice, either criminally or civil. I just want to tell them that this win is for them.”
“He needs to pay for it more than just out of pocket because, actually the citizens are going to pay for this, he’s not even going to pay. He’s going home to his family. My family has been destroyed,” said Kareem Courtney, Karsyn’s father.
The plaintiffs delivered closing arguments Thursday before the jury of six women. The defense delivered closing arguments Friday, which was followed by rebuttals.
Her family sued the county and Ruby.
Attorneys for Baltimore County and Ruby argued that Ruby fired because he feared for his life and his teammates’ lives.
A county attorney implored the jury to look past sympathy for Kodi Gaines in finding Ruby acted reasonably in firing on Korryn Gaines, saying, “He was protecting himself … which is his right.”
“He was a dead man if he didn’t fire. Dead,” the county attorney said. “What parent puts her child in front of a shotgun?”
The plaintiffs claimed six of Ruby’s fellow officers said under oath that they were not in Korryn Gaines’ line of fire and never felt unsafe. Korryn Gaines was holding a rifle during the standoff.