Baltimore County agrees to $3 million settlement with family, estate of Korryn Gaines

A picture of Korryn Gaines, left, is next to a photo of Breonna Taylor in a display in front of the White House on June 19, 2020, as people gathered to mark Juneteenth.

(CNN)Baltimore County officials have agreed to a $3 million settlement with the family and estate of Korryn Gaines, according to court documents.

The agreement comes five years after Gaines, 23, was shot and killed after an hourslong standoff with police in Baltimore County. She was trying to livestream the encounter with police, authorities said at the time. Her son, Kodi, then 5, also was shot twice.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a statement that the county has "remained committed to doing right by the family of Korryn Gaines and this resolution is an important step towards closure and healing for our community."
      "We also recognize Baltimore County's work to advance equity and improve accountability is ongoing," Olszewski said. "While we have made tremendous progress, more work remains, which is why our administration continues with our efforts to rebuild trust, ensure accountable policing, and build a more just future for every resident."
        J. Wyndal Gordon, an attorney for the Gaines family, said the family is "satisfied by the settlement," adding "now they can begin to heal."
          "The settlement was responsible and amicable it takes into account limitations on damages and the humanity and dignity of Korryn Gaines and her family," Gordon said.
          Legal claims brought by attorneys representing Kodi remain unsettled, Kodi's attorney Kenneth Ravenell said.
          Ravenell said Kodi, now 10, has been "physically and mentally scarred for life" from being shot and watching his mother get killed in front of him.
          "Justice will not come until the County pays Kodi," Ravenell said. "Last week at the county's request, we provided a demand to settle Kodi's case. We are awaiting the County's response. We will not settle Kodi's case for less than he deserves."
          The legal battle following Korryn Gaines' death has been controversial.
          In February 2019, a judge overturned a verdict of more than $37 million awarded to Gaines' family. In an opinion obtained by CNN at the time, Baltimore County Circuit Court Associate Judge Mickey J. Norman said Cpl. Royce Ruby, who court documents say shot Gaines twice, was "entitled to qualified immunity." This means that because Ruby was acting in his capacity as a police officer, he is "shielded from liability for civil damages" as long as his conduct didn't violate a person's constitutional rights.
            "The evidence is clear," Norman's opinion read. "This Court has found that Corporal Ruby is entitled to qualified immunity and therefore, his shooting of Gaines was not unlawful."
            The opinion also stated that the non-economic damages awarded to Gaines' family were "excessive and shocks the conscience."