Judge Tosses Out $38M Payday Awarded To Family Of Woman Who Shot At Police

Korryn Gaines used her five-year-old son as a human shield during an armed six-hour standoff with police in 2016.

Baltimore, MD – A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge has rescinded the $38 million award a jury granted to the family of a shotgun-wielding woman who was fatally shot by police as she used her five-year-old son as a human shield.

Although State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger determined that the officer-involved shooting of 23-year-old Korryn Gaines was justified back in 2016, her family claimed that police used excessive force, acted recklessly, and violated Gaines’ rights by allegedly illegally entering her home, according to WJZ.

The lawsuit alleged that Baltimore County Corporal Royce Ruby acted unreasonably when he fired on Gaines during the six-hour standoff in her Randallstown apartment, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The jury of six women awarded over $32 million to Gaines’s son, Kodi, and $4.5 million to her daughter, Karsyn. Gaines’ parents were set to receive a combined $607,000, and her estate was awarded an additional $300,000, according to The Baltimore Sun.

But on Thursday, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Mickey Norman determined that Cpl. Ruby is entitled to qualified immunity, and said he did not violate Gaines’ civil rights during the fatal encounter, The New York Times reported.

“The facts must be examined from the perspective of the officer” in determining whether or not excessive force was used, Norman explained in the 78-page decision.

The incident occurred on Aug. 1, 2016, when officers went to Gaines’ apartment to serve warrants on her and her fiancé, 39-year-old Kareem Courtney, at approximately 9 a.m, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Gaines was wanted for failing to appear for a court hearing, while Courtney had a warrant related to an assault on Gaines, the Owings Mills Patch reported.

The couple refused to open the door, and officers ultimately forced entry with warrants, prosecutors said, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Immediately upon entering the apartment, the first officer was “confronted with Korryn Gaines with a shotgun pointed right at him,” Assistant County Attorney James Ruckle said.

Gaines live-streamed herself holding the weapon during the confrontation on Facebook, according to the Owings Mills Patch.

Courtney exited the apartment with Karsyn, who was an infant at the time, but Gaines kept Kodi inside the apartment and refused to leave.

The ensuing standoff lasted for approximately six hours, and Cpl. Ruby – who was an officer at the time – remained positioned outside the doorway of the apartment unit.

“...there were times when Ms. Gaines spoke calmly and others where she screamed and acted irrationally,” Shellenberger wrote of his investigative findings in 2016, according to the Owings Mills Patch.

“She stated that the police were the devils, that they were crazy, that she had been unjustly kidnapped by the police, that the government had kidnapped her fiancé, that the police were only at her apartment because she was black, that when she and her son were dead the news would report it and the world would know, and it would be worth it as [long as] she took at least one of the officers with her, that she was absolutely not coming out..." Shellenberger wrote.

At times, the armed woman positioned herself behind her young son, using him as a human barrier between herself and the officers.

“What parent puts their kid in front of a shotgun? What parent puts their kid in that kind of unsafe position?” Ruckle asked during the closing arguments, according to the Baltimore Sun.

During the standoff, Cpl. Ruby saw Kodi move into the kitchen area, followed by his mother. The corporal then saw Gaines’ braids – and the shotgun barrel she was raising above a wall.

She then pointed her weapon at Cpl. Ruby, the Owings Mills Patch reported.

“He was a dead man if he didn’t fire. Dead,” Ruckle told the jury, according to The Baltimore Sun.

From the doorway, Cpl. Ruby fired his weapon through a wall in the area where he believed Gaines was standing. He said he also intentionally fired at a height that would be taller than Kodi, just in case the boy was standing close to her.

Police said that Gaines fired two rounds from the shotgun, but no officers were struck, the Owings Mills Patch reported.

A fragment from the first bullet Cpl. Ruby fired struck Kody in the left cheek, but did not penetrate it, Norman noted, according to The New York Times.

Gaines was fatally wounded during the shootout.

“The physical evidence is that she began to raise the shotgun, Corporal Ruby believed she was about to fire the shotgun,” Norman wrote in the decision, according to the New York Daily News. “Corporal Ruby was not required to be absolutely sure of the nature and extent of the threat Gaines posed.”

Kodi’s attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, said that he plans to appeal Norman’s decision, The New York Times reported.

Ravenell alleged that Norman’s opinion was “factually wrong and legally flawed in many respects,” but did not provide details with regards to those allegations.

“Justice was not done today,” he told The Baltimore Sun.

The family’s attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, said he also plans to file an appeal.

“We’re not happy about it, but the bottom line is we get a chance to have a full hearing before an appellate court,” Gordon told The Baltimore Sun.

Comments (27)
No. 1-16
Teijeiro2
Teijeiro2

Thank God they have one decent human being left in Baltimore. WTF is wrong with the assholes who sat on that jury?

SheepDawg
SheepDawg

"Jury - a group of people too stupid to get out of jury duty."

This is a prime example of American judiciary. Do you want a matter decided upon by the facts? Have the issues heard by a Judge. Do you want a matter decided by social justice warriors, the uneducated and unemployed? Impanel a jury.

Ezio
Ezio

So there are some judges who can see through the scam. Yep, black lives matter when there is a court-appointed payday.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Damn!!! Finally there is a judge with some common sense left in Baltimore!!! She brought all of this on herself!! She was a sovereign citizen and the epitome of "crime is the new black entitlement"!!! They don't deserve a dime!!!

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

I live in Baltimore and saw that disgusting event unfold. She held her son as a shield practically thinking they wouldn't shoot her ass. I have no sympathy for her, but I do for her son who is being raised to hate the Police and whitey!!!

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

I can't believe a jury was stupid enough to grant her estate an award like this to begin with! Yep, justice truly is blind! I guess it's fashionable to use your child as a human shield. As another human being I can't believe they wouldn't be horrified, disgusted, or outraged by her doing this, but hey, to each his own I suppose!

Ryerver
Ryerver

I am amazed this ever made it to court to begin with. When will common sense prevail during the attempt to file these ridiculous law suits?

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

The impression I walk away with after viewing repetitious videos involving these same players are -no self control, no respect for authority, animal behaviors, their thinking what they do passes for "normal". These kids are part of a much broader dysfunctional black culture where these behaviors are considered "normal" or "acceptable". Word is spreading on the behaviors and mindset. Not all of them are bad people.The reality is likely there are more good than not, but unfortunately the criminals and those who would be otherwise objectionable are more noticeable. I am never disrespectful in any chance interaction, but I otherwise avoid them. Besides a higher than average potential for illegal activities, crime and violence, I find the non-stop focus on race, pro-black propaganda, over representation on TV, accusations of racism, reparations, victim mentality, anti-police, anti-law abiding, anti-America, lack of assimilation, etc. ....to be completely exhausting. These subjects are always of discussion with blacks and always seem to be from a whiny perspective. The world does not revolve around this one minority group. I hear or see almost nothing from those black leaders in this community opening discussions of a "we have a problem" perspective. No other group causes me the same reaction. I no longer want to be on the receiving end of any of this or am now not even willing to listen to it. In years past I truly tried. I have now given up "trying" with blacks and have no further sympathies.

Mrs10
Mrs10

"Gaines live-streamed herself holding the weapon during the confrontation on Facebook, according to the Owings Mills Patch."

And yet there were SIX people who thought her family deserved a payday.

What, are they all in together and planning to split the winnings?!

That's the ONLY reason I can see that high of a number asked for/granted. Thankfully the judge at least understands the law!

LEO0301
LEO0301

I couldn't believe the payout this jury thought this family deserved. I suppose the fact the trial took place in Baltimore might have something to do with this judgement. Thankfully the judge, apparently the only one with half a brain, did the right thing.

The express
The express

Don't look like they can cash that ticket in the ghetto lottery just yet.Wow a judge that knows the law.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Finally a judge witb a spine! Future ghetto lottery players....take note.

Old Hawg
Old Hawg

I have to wonder about the racial composition of the jury. If the County Attorney allowed a majority African-American jury consisting of only women, he is incompetent and should never represent the county again. Women of any race are more inclined toward a "sympathy verdict" rather than on the basis of the facts of the case and the applicable law. Maryland is a "contributory negligence" state, meaning that if the Plaintiff contributes as little as 1% to his/her injury, it is a bar to recovery. While I am heartened to see this appellate decision, the original trial judge should have applied "jury nullification" at the conclusion of the trial as a matter of law.

pbm4jc
pbm4jc

I was disgusted at first when I heard that the family (attorneys) was milking the system for the demise of that criminal sorry excuse of a mother. This judge is correct no matter how you cut it. Kudos to the judge.

EagleReed101
EagleReed101

This is another perfect example of another poor black member of society being murdered by the white pig. B.S. Call it what it is, justified killing of a criminal.

Lovesthelaw
Lovesthelaw

Hey scumbag lawyer bottom feeder DIE SOON.