The fiancée of the armed Florida man killed by cops responding to a noise complaint said her "heart just dropped" when she learned the jury awarded the grieving family a mere 4 cents.
Hill was killed when Deputy Christopher Newman and his partner Deputy Edward Lopez responded to a noise complaint on January 14, 2014. One of the deputies fired his weapon through the garage door four times, and struck Hill twice in the abdomen and once in the head.
The only firearm that was found was a gun in Hill's pocket, which was unloaded.
The $4 in "total damages" was calculated by the $1 awarded to the dead man's fiance for funeral expenses along with $1 to each of the family's three children.
Eventually, backup arrived and the SWAT team released chemical agents into the home to flush out Hill.
A judge asked the jury to decide if Mr Hill's constitutional rights had been violated and, if so, whether his family should receive compensation.
The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Florida, accused Newman of using excessive force and Sheriff Mascara of negligence in his oversight of his officers. He also regretted the fact that he jury did not bring criminal charges against Newman. They argue that one of Hill's daughters, who witnessed the murder of her father, along with other witnesses across the street, saw no gun in his hand.
The lawyer for Hill's family, John Phillips, told News 3 he found the verdict "perplexing", but court rules prevent him from questioning jurors to learn more.
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The jury did find that St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara had been negligent in his role, but determined him to be liable by just 1 percent, the New York Times reported.
Because the jury decided the sheriff was 1 percent liable, the portion of the award the Sheriff's Office must pay is reduced to 4 cents. "He made the best decision he could for the safety of his partner, himself and the public given the circumstances he faced".
"It seems like jurors gave up", Phillips said.
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.
"I think [the jurors] were trying to insult the case".
"We appreciate the jury's time and understanding and wish everyone involved in this case the best as they move forward".
On May 24, the verdict granted only $1 for funeral expenses and $1 for each of Hill's kids.
According to the New York Times, jurors did not remain at the courthouse after the verdict was read to speak with attorneys and Phillips said he has not heard from any of them since.