In 2006, a jury of a thug's peers awarded said thug 2.4 million dollars after police officers in Prince Georges County, MD shot him when they observed him arguing with another man and holding a gun.
The case stemmed from an incident in which Darron Shaw had argued with his then-girlfriend LaToya Dunn as they all left a party at around 4AM. Shaw walked away while Dunn rode off in a car, but eventually that car pulled up next to Shaw and Dunn stood up through the sun roof and began arguing with Shaw. This argument was still going on when police officers arrived, saw Shaw with a gun, ordered him to drop it, and shot him when he responded inappropriately. Shaw of course claimed that he wasn't armed, and he was backed by Dunn, who subsequently became his wife despite his conviction for assaulting her that night. A jury awarded Shaw nearly two and a half million dollars but the case was appealed by PG County and remanded back for a new trial, where a second jury, one that actually considered the facts rather than simply acting as hood-rat lottery paymasters. This jury determined that the officers did nothing wrong and sent Shaw packing with no award whatsoever. Apparently this jury found that Shaw was in fact armed that morning, and that after being shot, Shaw tossed the gun into the car, which then drove off with it. The gun was thrown from the car around the corner and recovered by the police shortly thereafter, repudiating Shaw's perjurious claims that he was unarmed and therefore did not pose a threat.
Call me biased if you like, but the fact is that I will always support police officers and give them the full benefit of the doubt until they are proven wrong. In this case, the county was quick to investigate and they determined that Officer David Coleman did everything correctly on that scene. It should have ended there, but there's always some ambulance-chasing scumbag lawyer out there willing to sue municipalities and innocent police officers in the hope of a big jury payout from cop-hating juries. Predictably that happened here, and it might have ended there had the county not had the stones to fight for their officer and appeal the case instead of settling it or paying out. But they fought it, and the appellate court ruled that there was enough wrong with the first trial to warrant a new trial, and this time a jury of citizens determined that the officer's actions in shooting Shaw were proper and justified and declined to award Shaw so much as bus fare home.
Sometimes these things do have happy endings. And Officer Coleman, those of us on the good-guy side who have been aware of your case never doubted you.