"Verdict was $4 reduced to 4 cents reduced to $0," attorney John Phillips said on Twitter Thursday night.
After receiving a noise complaint for playing his music too loudly, police officers arrived at Hill's home and wound up firing four shots at the man, Raw Story reports. Hill closed the garage door to deescalate the situation, according to Phillips.
This was my 2nd case involving loud music… this time by police. A jury awarded $4 last week. He was minding his own business listening to @Drake when police arrived and spent less than 60 seconds on his property. He opened and closed his garage door deescalating the situation.— John M. Phillips (@JohnPhillips) May 31, 2018
With the garage door closed, it's an absolute mystery how the police could have decided Hill was pointing a gun at them, as the cops claimed. One round fired through the closed door landed in the man's gut, while a second bullet struck Hill's head. An investigation found a firearm in the man's pocket, raising questions as to how the black man could have forced the police to fire at him by pointing a gun at them if, again, there was a closed garage door between and the allegedly alarming weapon was in fact in his pocket.
The attorney representing the deceased, John Phillips, told the New York Times on Thursday that there was no factual evidence a gun was pointed at the deputies, yet Hill was subjected to "unreasonable, negligent and excessive" tactics.
The federal jury apparently found that Hill's rights had been violated, but that he was 99 percent responsible for his own death, allegedly because he was intoxicated in his own garage. The person who shot Hill in the head was 1 percent liable for the 30-year-old father dying while playing music loudly on his own property. Since Sheriff Ken Mascara was 1 percent liable, the Hill estate was awarded 1 percent of $4 in total damages: four pennies.
The $4 in "total damages" was calculated by the $1 awarded to the dead man's fiance for funeral expenses along with $1 to each of the family's three children. According to data from the National Funeral Directors Association, the national median cost of an adult funeral with viewing and burial in 2014, the year Hill died, was $8,508.
"I think they were trying to insult the case," Phillips, the lawyer, told NYT, adding that the low sum "was the hurtful part."
The jury did not think the police used excessive force, but did agree that each child should get $1 for "loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance… and mental pain and suffering," court documents show.
The family's attorney doesn't think poor mathematical skills were responsible for the $1 amount awarded to the three children, aged seven, 10 and 13. "That a black child's pain is only worth a dollar is exactly the problem with the plight of the African-American right now. This says, ‘Black lives don't matter,'" Phillips told CNN.