PoliceOne Staff Report (ELMONT, N.Y.) -- A federal jury awarded $2.25 million to the family of a man who was shot and killed by a Nassau County police officer in 1995, despite the fact that he had already been exonerated by his department.
Two weeks ago the jury determined that Officer Anthony Raymond, who is an 11-year veteran of the New York City and Nassau County departments, used unlawful force when he shot Christopher Wade nine times during an arrest.
The jury, however, cleared Raymond of charges that he had unlawfully searched, confined and arrested Wade. The officer maintains that Wade had pointed a gun at him and that he had feared for his life. A gun was found at the scene. An internal investigation by the Nassau County Police department found no wrong-doing on the part of the officer.
The three children, ages 4 to 10 and their mothers were awarded $1.5 million for pain and suffering, $575,000 for lost support and future support and $175,000 in punitive damages. The family had asked for $4.5 million in punitive damages.
Wade's families are also suing the county for hiring Raymond, arguing that his conviction for robbing $250 from a gas station prior to becoming an officer and several excessive force complaints make him unfit to serve in law enforcement.
The attorney handling the case for the county, Paul Millus, countered by saying that given the hundreds of arrests Raymond has made, the number of complaints have been relatively few. Millus called the robbery a youthful indiscretion that does not effect Raymond's fitness for police work.
"His record with the NYPD was exemplary he made 1,100 arrest out of which he was complained about 19 times. We believe that complaints are going to come if you are active and you are making arrests. Our position is that this officer was a qualified officer," Millus told PoliceOne.com