Jury Awards $8 Million to the Family of Black Man Killed By Police Chokehold
There was another Black man killed by police chokehold somewhere in America. Darren Burley was just 29-years old when he died in 2012 in a story eerily similar to that of Eric Garner in 2014. Last week, a civil jury in Long Beach, California awarded Burley's family with $8 million after a six-week trial found the Los Angeles County negligent in their behavior.
Deputies David Aviles and Paul Baserra were not charged by county prosecutors, however a jury of eight women and four men found the county guilty for battery in the death of Burley who was hit with a stun gun and was subject to an illegal chokehold and suffocation by deputies. Police officers reported to the scene after a call that Burley was choking a pregnant woman. It was reported that he did not follow deputies' instructions "forcing them to intervene in order to protect her."
Both deputies have admitted to using excessive force to restrain Burley who they said was under the influence of PCP and cocaine and was to blame for 40% of the ordeal. The other 60% lead to the victim's family, including Burley's wife and five children, awarded the full award of $8 million. The family's attorney, Carol Douglas told the Los Angeles Times, "in the wake of the troubling decision in Ferguson and Staten Island, it is particularly heartening that the fair-minded people of Long Beach were able to listen to all of the evidence and determine that a black life did matter."