Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr was shot through his garage door on 14 January 2014 by the deputy in St Lucie County, Florida, in response to a noise complaint. Because of this, the family was given a symbolic $4: a dollar for the funeral and $1 for the emotional damage each of his children may have experienced since their father's murder.
After four days of testimony last week, evidence and attorneys' arguments, the jury deliberated about 10 hours before finding that St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, in his official capacity, was negligent but was only 1 percent liable.
John Phillips, an attorney for the Hill family, called the jury's award "perplexing" and questioned why it would give $1 for $11,000 in funeral expenses and another dollar for each child's suffering when it simply could have awarded no damages. Phillips also says the defense improperly mentioned that Hill was on probation for drug possession.
Among those was Hill's oldest child, 13-year-old Destiny, who was 9 at the time. A gun was recovered from the scene in Hill's back pocket, but it was unloaded.
"I'm going to keep fighting until I get some justice", she said.
Officers claimed that Hill was armed at the time of the shooting.
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A statement from St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said Newman was "placed in a very hard 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".
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"Deputy Newman was placed in a very hard 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", he wrote. 'We appreciate the jury's time and understanding and wish everyone involved in this case the best as they move forward'.
Whether Hill, who worked at a Coca-Cola factory and had a history of serious traffic offenses, was holding a gun and whether he was ordered to drop it are in dispute.
Hill, a father of three, died of those injuries.
Toxicology reports from Hill's autopsy showed his blood-alcohol level was nearly 0.40 percent, almost five times the legal limit of 0.08 percent to drive, sheriff's officials said.
Hill's fiancee called the verdict a "slap in the face", and the family's lawyer is preparing an appeal, saying he can't tell whether the jury was angry, or just confused.
Monique Davis, Hill's fiancee, walked out of the courtroom when she heard the amount of the award, according to NBC.
The only gun recovered was found in Hills back pocket and was not loaded.
Phillips lamented that the jury sent the message that they "viewed these childrens' pain as virtually worthless". He said he will be filing his motion for a new trial in the same federal court in coming weeks. As the door was closing, Newman fired his handgun four times. "That's the only way I'm going to get peace".