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.