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Settlement reached in 2016 killing of Korryn Gaines by Baltimore County police, family attorney says

A settlement has been reached in the wrongful death lawsuit of Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old Black woman who was killed and her son injured by Baltimore County police officers in 2016, the family’s attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, confirmed to The Baltimore Sun.

Gordon said the agreement was reached “last week” but would not confirm the total amount of money.

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County spokesman Sean Naron confirmed that an agreement has been reached. He declined to comment on specifics of the settlement, saying the parties were still finalizing a written agreement.

Kenneth Ravenell, the attorney representing Gaines’ son, Kodi Gaines, said an agreement has not been reached in Kodi’s case but Ravenell believed a resolution was close. Kodi, then 5 years old, was struck by bullets and needed multiple surgeries for his injuries.

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The agreement comes after years of court fights over a $38 million jury award in 2018 that was overturned by a judge the following year, concluding the officer acted reasonably. But last year a Maryland appeals court ruled the judge erred in wiping out the award.

Attorneys representing Gaines were seeking at least $5 million in a settlement award while her son Kodi’s representation are seeking close to $32.8 million, Ravenell said.

“I thought it was a very amicable and responsible settlement,” Gordon said. ”We took into account the legal challenges as well as the humanity of Korryn Gaines, understanding that both sides had to give up a little. ... We are satisfied.”

Korryn Gaines’ mother described her as “extremely friendly, outgoing.”
Korryn Gaines’ mother described her as “extremely friendly, outgoing.” (Courtesy of Gaines family / HAN / Baltimore Sun)

Ravenell said he sent a proposal to the county last week in Kodi’s lawsuit but has not heard back.

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Gaines was killed inside her Randallstown home Aug. 1, 2016, and the incident immediately garnered national attention. County police officers were serving a arrest warrant related to a traffic violation.

Baltimore County officers testified in court that Gaines was armed with a shotgun and refused commands to drop the weapon.

During the ensuing standoff, Gaines at times posted videos from the scene on Facebook, before her account was shut down.

In June, national civil rights activists, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, spoke in support of the family — demanding the judge award the amount of money that was agreed on by the jury.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton, left, holds the hand of Rhanda Dormeus the mother of Korryn Gaines as he speaks during a news conference shortly after the hearing to reinstate the $38 million awarded to Gaines' family after her death.
Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton, left, holds the hand of Rhanda Dormeus the mother of Korryn Gaines as he speaks during a news conference shortly after the hearing to reinstate the $38 million awarded to Gaines' family after her death. (Kenneth K. Lam)

The family also is asking the federal government to prosecute Royce Ruby, the former Baltimore County officer who shot and killed Gaines. Baltimore County prosecutors decided the shooting was justified and declined to press charges against Ruby.

Baltimore Sun reporter Alison Knezevich contributed to this article.

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