ATLANTA — A federal jury in Atlanta has awarded $100 million to a panhandler who fell and broke his neck after a police officer shocked him with a stun gun throughout a foot chase, information businesses report.
Jerry Blasingame now wants round the clock care costing $1 million a 12 months, and has $14 million in medical payments thus far, legal professional Ven Johnson informed jurors.
Jurors discovered that Officer Jon Grubbs used unreasonable power towards Blasingame, who was 65 years outdated and had been asking drivers for cash on July 10, 2018. He was paralyzed from the neck down and is now 69 years outdated.
Jurors discovered that the Atlanta Police Division ought to pay $60 million and Grubbs ought to pay $40 million, WXIA-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Town has filed a movement for a directed verdict. A ruling from a decide on that movement could amend the jury’s verdict.
Choose Steve Jones has not but dominated on that request, on-line court docket data point out. Jones dominated earlier than deliberations started that jurors might moderately discover that Grubbs used extreme power, and that they might think about the town’s argument.
“The report would permit the jury to search out that Mr. Blasingame had not been committing a critical crime earlier than he was tased/ that Officer Grubbs didn’t concern for his security/ and that the exigent circumstances weren’t in any other case so extreme as to allow Officer Grubbs’s use of power,” Jones wrote Friday.
Blasingame’s conservator, Keith Edwards, sued the town of Atlanta and the officer, Jon Grubbs, for the price of his previous and future medical payments.
Johnson and civil rights legal professional Craig Jones mentioned Grubbs violated division coverage through the use of a stun gun on an aged man who was operating away, the newspaper reported.
Edwards’ lawsuit mentioned Blasingame was on the road and asking individuals for cash when Grubbs and one other officer arrived and noticed him speaking with a driver.
Grubbs stepped out of the patrol automotive and informed Blasingame to cease, however he moved out of the road to a guard rail, and Grubbs ran towards him, in response to the lawsuit.
“Grubbs will get out of the automotive and begins chasing my shopper — a 65-year-old man — and for what? For doubtlessly asking individuals for cash?” Johnson mentioned.
Johnson mentioned the town didn’t make an intensive sufficient investigation into Grubbs’ conduct and let him return to full obligation six months after the incident and earlier than the investigation was concluded.
“That is how an officer will get away with extreme power,” he informed the jury in his closing argument. “You bury it.”
Staci J. Miller, one of many attorneys representing Atlanta and Grubbs, mentioned Blasingame’s accidents had been tragic, however metropolis coaching and division coverage had been to not blame.
The Metropolis of Atlanta’s legal professionals, who additionally represented Grubbs, weren’t out there to touch upon the decision and a spokesperson for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens declined to remark, the newspaper reported.
Grubbs joined the Atlanta Police Division as a cadet in December 2013, in response to data of the Georgia Peace Officer Requirements and Coaching Council. He grew to become a full officer a 12 months later and has served on the power since then.
He has no sanctions in his POST data and is listed as an officer in good standing by the state police certifying company.