Appeals court axes $23 million award for man shot by deputy

AP News
Posted: Jan 10, 2018 3:50 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out a $23 million jury award to a black man who was unarmed when he was shot and paralyzed by a Florida sheriff's deputy.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ordered a new trial on claims by 24-year-old Dontrell Stephens. Two of the three judges agreed that jury instructions were flawed. A South Florida federal jury had awarded the verdict last February.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Sgt. Adams Lin shot Stephens in September 2013, four seconds after stopping Stephens for riding his bike into traffic.

Lin mistook Stephens' cellphone for a gun, saying he feared for his life when Stephens flashed his left hand toward him. Lin's dashboard camera video showed the phone was in Stephens' right hand. Lin is Asian-American.