A jury has awarded $100 million to a Black man who was tased by an Atlanta police officer in 2018 and left paralyzed after falling and hitting his head on cement, 11 Alive News reports.
Jurors found that Officer Jon Grubbs used unreasonable force against then-65-year-old Jerry Blasingame as he was asking drivers for money on July 10, 2018.
“He was panhandling and the police, of course, rolled up on him, chased him, and then ran after him," said Ven Johnson, Blasingame's lawyer.
The victim's legal team said Grubbs hit him with a Taser in his back from 10 feet away.
“Since he's not under arrest, he can run or do whatever he wants to do," Johnson said. “Jerry then fell again, face forward, face planted in smashing his head, multiple facial fractures, brain injury and broke his neck.”
In body camera footage of the incident, Blasingame can be seen unconscious and motionless.
The Atlanta Police Department has now been ordered to pay $60 million and Grubbs is to pay $40 million for violating Blasingame's civil rights.
The Georgia NAACP said the $100 million settlement may be one of the largest ever received by a victim who is still living.
They believe this ruling could pave an easier path for law enforcement to be held liable in cases of excessive force and police brutality.
However, Grubbs' POST record shows he is still employed with Atlanta PD.
“Do you really think that it's a good idea to have somebody that's $100 million liability on your force still interacting with the citizens?” Georgia NAACP President Gerald Griggs said.
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