Man Awarded $100 Million After Being Paralyzed In Encounter With Atlanta Police Officer

A jury ruled the officer used excessive force, causing the man to lose his physical functions and require 24/7 care.

In what the Georgia NAACP is calling the largest settlement they’ve ever heard of, a man was awarded $100 million by a jury after an Atlanta police officer used a taser on the senior citizen causing the man to fall and strike his head on cement. The injury has left him paralyzed and requiring around the clock care.

According to reports, Jerry Blasingame was panhandling in 2018, when Officer Jon Grubbs approached him, causing him to become frightened and run, WXIA reports. His attorney, Von Johnson, said the Grubbs tased him in the back from about ten feet away, but there was no cause for that action.

“Since he's not under arrest, he can run or do whatever he wants to do," Johnson said during the incident, “Jerry then fell again, face forward, face planted in smashing his head, multiple facial fractures, brain injury and broke his neck.”

Footage from a body camera showed Blasingame on the ground unconscious from the tasing shock.

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The jury determined the officer used an unreasonable amount of force. The Georgia NAACP says it believes this ruling may make it easier for law enforcement agencies to be held liable in cases of excessive force or police brutality. NAACP President, attorney Gerald Griggs, says the verdict may inspire the APD to look at its hiring and training of officers.

The jury found both the City of Atlanta and the officer guilty of violating Blasingame's civil rights. They awarded $60 million to the victim from APD and $40 million from Grubbs.

Johnson says that Blasingame, now 69, has “just a little bit of movement in his arms.” Lawyers say that he has $14 million in medical expenses.

Meanwhile, Grubbs remains on the police force, which he has been since 2014.

“Do you really think that it's a good idea to have somebody that's [a] $100 million liability on your force still interacting with the citizens,” said Griggs.

“Given that there was no call for service on this situation, they could have handled it differently," he continued. “It sends a strong message from the citizens that live in the northern district of Georgia, a part of which is in Fulton County in Atlanta, that they're sick of this and they want change.”

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