It’s been five years since 23-year-old Korryn Gaines was shot and killed in her apartment by Baltimore County police. Since then, Gaines’s family have gone back and forth with the local judicial system. According to WBALTV.com, a jury awarded Gaines’ surviving relatives, including her then 5-year-old son Kodi, $38 million in a wrongful death suit.
At the time of the incident, Kodi was also struck by a ricocheting bullet but survived the injury. According to the judgement, Kodi would receive $32 million and the rest would be split among other family members.
Afterward, according to The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore County judge overturned the verdict, stripping the money from the family.
But last July, The Sun reported, that judges found that the lower court “abused its discretion” in throwing out the jury’s decision to award Gaines’s family with the money.
According to The Sun, Gaines’s mother, Rhanda Dormeus, is back in court, this time with Al Sharpton, in an attempt to remove Judge Mickey Norman from Korryn’s case.
They allege that as a former state trooper, Norman is biased and should recuse himself.
Norman is the same judge who ruled that Royce Ruby, the officer who shot and killed Gaines while firing through a wall, should be entitled to qualified immunity. Qualified immunity would protect him from liability of his actions under the defense that he was carrying out his duties as an officer.
Gaines was armed with a shotgun and refused commands to drop her weapon.
Her family’s lawyers have argued that Gaines lived with a mental illness which may have caused her to detach from the reality of the situation. They also allege that she was afraid of the police.
Dormeus believes the county is stalling the legal battle in an attempt to avoid paying the settlement.
“At the end of the day, my grandkids were left without a mother. She was snatched away from them. My grandbaby was actively nursing when my daughter was killed. They need to be compensated in some type of way because they can’t have their mother, so what else can it be? They need to be able to live on and survive in this world. Baltimore County is on the hook for this settlement, but they are doing everything they can to avoid it.”
County spokesman Sean Naron said officials have made an offer to settle the dispute.
In an email, he wrote:
“This administration inherited the case following the tragic death of Ms. Gaines, and our focus now is on doing right by the family of Ms. Gaines and, in particular, her children. After years in court, the County made a significant offer to resolve the matter, which reflects the highest amount we believe the court may award under the law.”
Wyndal Gordon, who represents the family’s estate would not disclose the amount of the offer but said, “It was almost insulting. When they produce a serious offer, we’re willing to negotiate.”
While the spokesman and Gordon have yet to discuss numbers, The Sun reports that Baltimore County attorneys want the verdict capped at $1.1 million for Gaines’ estate and $400,000 for Gaines’ son.
Gaines’ family wants the entire settlement amount paid in full.