A federal jury cleared Deputy Christopher Newman in the 2014 shooting death of Gregory Hill Jr., and awarded the family a total of $5, deeming that Hill’s death was not wrongful, and did not violate his civil rights, specifically his fourth amendment rights to be free from excessive force, which the complaint claimed was violated. Hill was 30 years old, an employee of Coca-Cola, and a father.
Newman shot and killed Hill while responding to a noise complaint call that said Hill was listening to loud music, as Hill lived across from an elementary school that was dismissing students. Hill was apparently armed and drinking when the officers arrived at the home. The gun was not loaded. As Newman saw Hill was armed, he shot through the garage door four times, as Hill was closing it. Hill did not draw his weapon. The fourth bullet fatally struck Hill in the head. The jury found Hill 99% responsible for his own death, and the Sheriff Ken Mascara 1% liable, as Hill was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Local station WPEC reported that Hill family attorney John Phillips said his clients will most likely appeal.
The Sheriff’s office issued this statement, in support of Deputy Newman:
We are pleased to see this difficult and tragic incident come to a conclusion. Deputy Newman was placed in a very difficult situation, and like so many fellow law enforcement officers must do every day, he made the best decision he could for the safety of his partner, himself, and the public given the circumstances he faced. We appreciate the jury’s time and understanding and wish everyone involved in this case the best as they move forward.
[Image via WPTV]