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Lawsuit in Fatal Police Shooting of Korryn Gaines Moves Towards Trial


A Baltimore county judge ruled Monday that a civil trial in the 2016 officer-involved fatal shooting of Korryn Gaines will go forward, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2016, claims that Gaines, a mother of two, was illegally shot and killed by Baltimore County Police Department Officer First Class Royce Ruby, on August 1, 2016 after a six-hour long standoff with police. Gaines was 23-years-old.

Baltimore County said in a press release that three officers arrived at Gaines’ apartment with the intention to serve a warrant for a failure to appear in court for traffic violations and misdemeanors, as well as an arrest warrant for the father of Gaines one-year-old child, Kareem Courtney. Officers entered the apartment by obtaining a key from the building’s management, a move that the suit claims was “unlawful.” Courtney and the infant exited the apartment, while Gaines and her five-year-old son Kodi remained.

Gaines broadcast parts of her standoff with the police on social media via Facebook Live and Instagram. In it, the Mossberg 12-gauge pistol grip shotgun officers claimed to have seen her holding in her lap for the majority of the standoff is visible. Gaines purchased the gun legally in 2015. The original videos were removed from Gaines’ social media, but the videos were posted online later.

Officers claimed that while holding the shotgun, Gaines threatened to shoot the officers outside of her apartment, saying “If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.”  She was shot and killed in front of Kodi, who sustained non-fatal injuries.

The lawsuit claims that Officer Ruby “acted with malice and he had no legal justification for his actions.” The suit also claims that Ruby, a member of the Tactical Unit in the Support Operations division of the Baltimore County Police Department,  had killed people on duty before. This was confirmed in a release by Baltimore County Government that stated Ruby was involved in a police shooting in August 2007.

A September 2016 statement by the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office said that no criminal charges were filed against Ruby, claiming that after review, the shooting was justified.

The trial is set to begin Tuesday.

[Image via screengrab]

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