Judge Awards $81K To Man Shot AT During Traffic Stop

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man who was shot at [not shot – Ed.] by a U.S. Marshal during a traffic stop has received about $81,000 in a post-traumatic stress lawsuit.

Jahmazeo Richardson was driving home from work in 2015 when he was pulled over and surrounded by a seven-member task force of marshals and Memphis authorities.

When Richardson was given permission to reach for his registration, Marshal Mark Carney fired a shot at him through the passenger-side window and missed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Brackstone said the shooting was accidental.

The Commercial Appeal reports Judge Jon McCalla ruled Wednesday that the shooting had a profound impact on Richardson’s health. McCalla says Richardson was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and has had suicidal thoughts.

Richardson’s lawyer says the judgment gives Richardson resources to heal. Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

Shocking explanation for why marshal shot at Jah­mazeo Richard­son

Sept 8, 2019

Memphis Commercial Appeal – One block from the Coca-cola plant where Jah­mazeo Richard­son had be­gun driv­ing home from work, a sev­en-­mem­ber law en­force­ment task force, outfitted with weapons, cam­ouflage and bul­let­proof vests, sur­rounded both sides of his car.

Richard­son, then 20, had pulled over once he saw po­lice lights in his rearview mir­ror, he re­cently tes­tified in fed­eral court, four years after be­ing stopped by the com­bined group of U.S. mar­shals and lo­cal law en­force­ment the night of April 1, 2015.

Though Richard­son didn’t flee and he posed no threat when, with per­mis­sion, he reached for his reg­is­tra­tion, U.S. Mar­shal Mark Car­ney shot at him through his pas­sen­ger-side win­dow — facts that were not in dis­pute in Richard­son’s civil trial, where he has sued for $101,456 in dam­ages, pri­mar­ily re­lated to post-trau­matic stress.

“I reached down and ba­si­cally heard a loud noise … glass break­ing and a gun­shot,” Richard­son said on the wit­ness stand, where he pe­ri­od­i­cally choked up, wip­ing tears from his face through­out the pro­ceed­ings.

“I thought I was go­ing to die. I froze. I didn’t know if I’d been hit,” he said.

Med­i­cal notes sub­mit­ted at trial de­scribe the in­ci­dent as in­cit­ing the sleep­less­ness, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety while driv­ing and cry­ing spells he has been treated for since, through coun­sel­ing, in­ten­sive out­pa­tient pro­grams and medication.

Car­ney was not present at the trail where his lawyer, As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney David Brack­stone, said of the shoot­ing:

“The mar­shals made a mistake. I’m not here to do jus­tice to it be­cause it can’t be jus­tified. But it was an ac­ci­dent.”

In a pre­trial sum­mary, the gov­ern­ment as­serted Car­ney fired his weapon by mistake while at­tempt­ing to use a gun-mounted flash­light.

The case pro­vides rare in­sight into the typ­i­cally se­cre­tive multi-agency task forces in op­er­a­tion across the coun­try.

Richard­son was stopped amid the six-week, na­tional Op­er­a­tion Vi­o­lence Re­duc­tion 7 in which U.S. mar­shals led task forces in mul­ti­ple cities with a stated mis­sion “to re­duce vi­o­lent crime by tak­ing dan­ger­ous fugi­tives off the streets … ” Read more. 

Reports indicate that Jah­mazeo Richard­son has no criminal record. In the traffic stop during which he was shot at, Richard­son was charged only with running a red light. – Ed.