The following statement can be attributed to Jay Jimenez, Legal Program Associate:
“Across the country, there is a growing uprising and calls for systemic changes over the police killing Black people with little to no consequence, leaving families devastated both by the loss of their loved ones and the failure of justice. With its ruling in favor of the Gaines family, the appeals court rebuked Judge Mickey Norman for improperly disregarding the emphatic verdict by the jury seeking to hold police accountable for the killing of Korryn Gaines. The jury initially determined that Officer Royce Ruby acted unreasonably when he shot Korryn Gaines and injured her son, awarding Kodi $34 million in damages to try to compensate for his irreparable loss. But that decision was reversed by Judge Norman, a former state trooper, who swapped his own personal, pro-police view for that of the jury.
“While this monetary victory is a step in the right direction, we must not forget the tragedy that came before this. Baltimore County Police Officer Royce Ruby shot and killed 23-year old Korryn Gaines, in the process also critically wounded her son, five-year old Kodi Gaines. The young child was left without a mother and with searing memories of that deadly day. What led up to this tragedy was a minor traffic violation. Kodi did not deserve to witness his mothers’ killing. Korryn Gaines should still be alive today.
“While we are pleased that the Maryland’s appeals court restored the Gaines family’s hard-won monetary verdict, we must continue forward towards holding police departments accountable for their officers’ deadly actions. With this victory, the jury’s verdict and appeals court decision tell us BlackLivesDoMatter.”