Dontrell Stephens awarded $23.1 million
Photo: Joe Cavaretta/AP

 

Unarmed Black Man Shot & Paralyzed By Florida Cop Awarded $23.1 Million

On Wednesday, a federal jury awarded $23.1 million to 22-year-old Dontrell Stephens, who was unarmed when he was shot and paralyzed by a Florida sheriff’s deputy.

Via The New York Daily News:

The six-woman, two-man jury ruled after 3 1/2 hours of deliberation that Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Sgt. Adams Lin violated Dontrell Stephens’ civil rights when he shot him in September 2013.

Lin, who had stopped Stephens for riding his bicycle into traffic, testified that he shot him four times because he reached for his waistband with his left hand and then flashed a dark object that he thought was a small handgun.

Stephens testified that he was raising his hands when Lin opened fire for no reason. Video from the dashboard camera in Lin’s patrol car showed Stephens’ left hand was empty and a cellphone was in his right hand.

An appeal is expected. Stephens had been seeking more than $5 million to cover medical treatment and future care, but his attorney Darryl Lewis told a federal jury in his closing arguments Wednesday that the man should get at least $24 million.

 

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