A panhandler who was left paralyzed after an Atlanta cop shot him with a stun gun was awarded $100 million by a federal jury last week.

Jerry Blasingame, 69, requires 24-hour care, costing up to $1 million per year, after the officer shot him with a taser, causing him to fall and break his neck when his head slammed into the pavement in 2018, according to WXIA-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He’s additionally amassed $14 million in medical expenses since the incident.

Jerry Blasingame before his injury/

The jury found that Atlanta police officer John Grubbs used an excessive amount of force when he encountered Blasingame on July 10, 2018 as he was begging for money from drivers passing by.

Blasingame took off running as the officer approached him, but was pursued by Grubbs who fired his stun gun at him from about ten feet away, hitting him in the back of the head and causing him to fall on his face and paralyzing him.

Jerry Blasingame lying face-ground on the ground after he was shot with a stun gun.
Atlanta PD

“Since he’s not under arrest, he can run or do whatever he wants to do,” Blasingame’s attorney, Ven Johnson, said. “Jerry then fell again, face forward, face planted in smashing his head, multiple facial fractures, brain injury and broke his neck.” 

Body cam footage of the incident shows Blasingame lying on the ground unconscious.

The jury ordered that the Atlanta Police Department pay the quadriplegic $60 million while Grubbs pay $40 million. 

Grubbs has been a member of the force since 2014 and remains employed by the department, records show.

The Georgia NAACP said this is the largest settlement it has ever seen. They said they hope the case sets a precedent for holding police departments and officers liable for using excessive force.

Atlanta police officer Jon  Grubbs
APD officer Jon Grubbs was ordered to pay Blasingame $40 million.
Jerry Blasingame in a hospital bed.
Blasingame now requires around-the-clock medical care, costing him up to $1 million per year.

“Do you really think that it’s a good idea to have somebody that’s $100 million liability on your force still interacting with the citizens?” Georgia NAACP President Gerald Griggs told WXIA-TV.

The Atlanta Police Department has declined to comment on the verdict.

“We’re really, really happy for Jerry, because what we now see as a quadruple pathetic, in other words, a quadriplegic with just a little bit of movement in his arms, hopefully now he will have money to fund his care so that he can live the rest of his life as best as he can possibly live,” Johnson said.

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