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Police Shooting Victim Wins Compensation Award Judgment

A police shooting that occurred 11 years ago is now costing the Government of St. Lucia hundreds of thousands of dollars — and could very well be a wake-up call for trigger-happy police officers.

A civil court, about a week ago, awarded Andre Halls of Ciceron $344,950 after assessing the damages wrought to him by a bullet from the gun of a police officer while at his home on 24 August, 2007.

Halls first sought compensation from the high court on 18 February 2008 for the injuries he sustained as a result of being shot by the police officer.

The matter proceeded to trial and on 22 November, 2017, with Justice Wilkinson delivering a judgment in favor of Halls for damages to be assessed.

Master (High Court) Agnes Actie, just over a week ago, assessed the damages in accordance with CPR 2000 12.13 and 16 and concluded that the Attorney General, as the defendant standing in place of the State, should pay Halls, in general damages, the sum of $160,000 — with interest at the rate of 6 percent — from 18 February, 2008 until payment is fully made.

Under the rubric special damages, Halls was awarded $8500 with interest at the rate of three percent from the date of the incident to the 8 February 2008 and at the rate of six percent from the 8 February until payment in full.

Regarding the loss of future earnings Halls was awarded $161,280. For future medical care he was awarded $5,170 and for exemplary damages he was awarded $10,000.

Halls was hospitalized for two months with severe pain which continues to date. He told the court that due to the foot drop, he is unable to play basketball and dance at parties as he did prior to the incident.

He claimed, in his witness statement, that the shortened right leg and the unstableness of the joint does not allow him to stand for too long. He is embarrassed as he now walks with a permanent limp and is no longer able to walk fast or run.

Representing Halls was Ms. Mary Francis, a longtime campaigner for persons with human rights complaints against police officers and others in authority. Representing the state was Mrs. Tina Louison.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

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