In 2008, a Jackson man was shot by a law enforcement officer. He sued, and now he's been awarded $350,000.
September 12th 2008, Ronnie Burton says he was outside his step-mom's house. He says several cars drove onto the street at a high rate of speed. He says he was scared, so he ran. That's when he got shot.
Court documents detail the events that led up to the shooting of Ronnie Burton. The documents say undercover agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics bought drugs from a home on Lyndon B. Johnson Drive. They got a search warrant, and the night of September 12, they returned to search the home.
Burton says he saw the unmarked cars speeding onto the street and thought it was a drive-by, so he ran.
"And as I jumped the fence, I realized I was shot," Burton tells us.
Burton survived. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, but when he was released, instead of going home, he was taken to jail.
"The judge told me that I had nothing on me, and I was free to go," Burton explains. "So basically, I sat in jail that time for no reason."
Burton, who is a Captain in the US Army, met with his attorneys, and they decided to sue the City of Jackson, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Hinds County Sheriff's Department. The maximum the judge could award him is $500,000.
"We knew that the Captain had done no wrong," says Attorney Carlos Moore. "So we thought he deserved his day in court, and that's what he did."
This week, Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd ruled in favor of Burton, awarding him $350,000. His attorneys are pleased.
"This was a high-power rifle that he was shot with," says Attorney Aafran Sellers. "And so the fact that he survived it, that was a blessing. Now this judgement is just a greater blessing for him to get past this, but we are really satisfied with the outcome."
The City of Jackson, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Hinds County Sheriff's Department must pay Burton $350,000. They have 30 days to appeal the decision. Officials with MBN and the Sheriff's Department tell News Channel 12 they will appeal. The City of Jackson has not yet responded to our question.
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