Two years after Korryn Gaines was killed by a Baltimore County police officer, her family has been awarded more than $37 million.
Police say Korryn Gaines, 23, raised a shotgun into the firing position during what had turned into a six-hour standoff, and that Officer Royce Ruby’s actions were therefore justified. Ruby fired a bullet that killed Gaines and wounded her son, Kodi, who was 5 at the time.
A Baltimore County jury in the civil case brought on by Gaines’ family, ruled on Friday that the officer’s actions were improper.
Kodi was awarded $32 million in Friday’s judgment, according to WBAL. Gaines’ daughter, Karsyn Courtney, was awarded $4.5 million. Her father and mother each received $300,000, and the Gaines estate was awarded an additional $300,000.
Kenneth Ravenell, the attorney for Kodi’s father, Corey Cunningham, said they were “blessed” that the jury “quickly, swiftly returned a justified verdict on behalf of a child who was victimized by Officer Royce Ruby.”
Gaines’ mother, Rhada Dormeus said after the verdict that the win was for her sisters in the movement who’ve lost children to police violence.
“This win is for all of my sisters in the movement who have lost their children to police violence,” Dormeus told The Baltimore Sun outside the courthouse after the verdict. “Some of them have never received justice, either criminally or civil. I just want to tell them that this win is for them.”
In a statement, Baltimore County said it is disappointed by the verdict and may file an appeal.
“A mother died, a child was unintentionally injured, and police officers were placed in mortal danger,” the statement read. “By any account, this was a tragic situation.”
Officers went to Gaines’ apartment the morning of Aug. 1, 2016, to serve her an arrest warrant on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and multiple traffic violations. When she didn’t open the door after officers knocked repeatedly, they obtained a key from the landlord and attempted to enter the apartment. They found Gaines on the floor holding a shotgun and her 5-year-old son.
Korryn Gaines published videos on Facebook to document the standoff, before she was killed by Officer Royce Ruby.