Marching under a blazing sun Thursday morning and holding signs skyward, protesters in Towson called on Baltimore County to settle the case of Kodi Gaines, who was struck by a ricocheting bullet when Baltimore County police shot and killed his mother, Korryn Gaines, five years ago.
While Baltimore County reached an agreement with Korryn Gaines’ parents, daughter and estate this month, the claims brought by attorneys for Kodi remain unresolved. A jury in 2018 awarded a total of $38 million after a civil trial — with the bulk going to Kodi and the rest to his mother’s estate.
Attorney Kenneth Ravenell, who is representing Kodi, is pushing to keep the claims brought on behalf of the child in the public eye. A similar protest last month, headlined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, attracted by about 200 supporters.
“We have gathered here for the third time to try to bring attention and focus to what has happened Korryn Gaines and now Kodi Gaines,” Ravenell said during an interview.
The crowd of nearly 50 people marched loudly, shouting “Justice for Kodi Gaines” and chanting “Say his name” as people stepped outside the Towson Circuit Courthouse to watch.
Kodi, then 5, was injured when Baltimore County police officer fired through a wall at Korryn Gaines, saying she pointed a shotgun at an officer. Kodi was struck and left with an elbow injury and bullet fragments on his face.
Officers went to the home attempting to execute a warrant for a previous traffic violation by Gaines, 23.
The case sparked national attention as Gaines had been recording the incident on Facebook Live.
“The County has remained committed to doing right by the family of Korryn Gaines and was able to reach a resolution with the estate of Ms. Gaines. We will continue our efforts to provide closure and healing for both the family and our community,” Baltimore County spokesman Sean Naron said on Friday.
The wrongful death case has dragged on since a jury issued the $38 million verdict in 2018, about $32 million of which was awarded to Kodi.
A year later, county judge Mickey J. Norman overturned the jury’s decision and said the officer who fired the shots, Cpl. Royce Ruby, acted reasonably. The judge wrote that physical evidence showed Gaines, who was armed with a shotgun, raised her weapon and turned toward the officer, who said he thought that she was going to fire.
Then a Maryland appeals court ruled in 2020 that Norman erred in wiping out the jury award.
With Gaines’ other family members settling for $3 million, Ravenell said it’s time to get Kodi’s case resolved. He said he’s waiting for Baltimore County to respond to his proposal.
“Three weeks have gone by since we presented the demand to you and we have heard nothing,” Ravenell said.
Kodi’s father, Corey Cunningham, also attended Thursday’s rally, advocating for a resolution.
“It should have never happened,” he said. “My son should have never lost his mother, he never should have been shot twice.”