The family of Korryn and Kodi Gaines is suing to bring accountability for Kodi Gaines. Seven years ago, Baltimore County Police Officer Royce Ruby shot and killed 23-year-old Korryn Gaines. In the process, the officer also critically wounded her son, then five-year old Kodi. As a result, Kodi suffered infection due to the gunshot, lost his mother, and went through several surgeries to remove the bullet fragments from his face. Kodi suffered both immense physical and emotional trauma.
The police went to the home of Korryn Gaines over a minor traffic violation. This is something that should not have caused Korryn to lose her life or her son to lose his mother.
The jury ruled that the officer who killed Korryn and harmed her son violated their constitutional rights and is not entitled to what’s called “qualified immunity.” Qualified immunity is a status that protects officers from lawsuits for their actions unless the officer violated a “clearly established” constitutional right. The jury clearly decided that Officer Ruby did violate constitutional rights and is not entitled to this immunity.
However, the trial judge on the case, a former police officer, through a series of legal rulings has tried to undermine the jury verdict. The judge resurrected the qualified immunity issue to block the officer from being held accountable and facing the consequences of the harm he caused.
Let’s put a stop to police violence and create a system of transparency, police accountability, and healing for the community.
- The ACLU of Maryland has recently written an amicus brief in support of Kodi Gaines’ rights.
- Debbie Jeon, ACLU of Maryland’s legal director, wrote a harrowing and candid op ed in support of Kodi Gaines, “No one’s life is ‘collateral damage.’ Qualified immunity for police must be stopped.”
- In 2020, Neydin Milián, ACLU of Maryland’s communications strategist, wrote an in-depth blog about Korryn Gaines’ case, “Demanding Accountability from the Police and Courts.”
- The ACLU of Maryland has made powerful statements in the past for Korryn Gaines’ case: