WATCH: Hundreds March in Protest of Jury Verdict Awarding $4 to Family of Man Killed by Deputy

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Nearly 150 people marched along U.S. 1 Friday evening, protesting a jury verdict awarding just $4 to the family of a man killed by a St. Lucie County deputy.

Organizers called it the Greg Hill Peace March— a procession to the federal courthouse where the controversial verdict came down in May.
Viola Bryant, mother of Gregory Hill, welcomed participants to the march and was gratified by the turnout.

“They just let me know I did a good job with my child,” she said. “My heart goes out to everyone, and I appreciate it, I really do.”

Mario Wilcox, who’s from the same neighborhood as Hill and one of the march organizers, had harsh words for the recent verdict.

“I look at it as what the Book of Revelation in the Bible says: ‘It is pure sinful, and it is evil, and it is a disrespect to human life,’” she said. “The same that happened to him, it could happen to anyone. Unfortunately we lost a life.”

In 2014, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Newman responded to a loud music complaint at Hill’s home in Fort Pierce’s north end.

The garage door opened, revealing Hill inside.

A second deputy yelled Hill had a gun. Newman testified he also saw Hill with the firearm.
Then, the garage door closed.

Newman fired four times through the closed garage door, killing Hill.

“It just doesn’t make sense that individuals would be fearful of their life if there was a door between them in the alleged perpetrator,” said city commissioner Reginald Sessions, another organizer of the march.
Hill’s family sued Newman and the sheriff’s office.

A federal jury seated in Fort Pierce heard the case.

In the end, jurors cleared Newman, found Sheriff Ken Mascara one percent liable, but ruled Hill, under the influence of alcohol, was 99 percent responsible for his own death.

Then jurors awarded just $4 to Hill’s three children and for funeral expenses.

“It would’ve been better off saying zero,” Sessions said. “But to say such a nominal amount on an individual’s life, is certainly an injustice.”

CBS12 was first to report the verdict. National news outlets later picked up the story.

“When you read the articles— New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, the nation is saying, ‘What’s going on?’ So what are we going to do here?” Sessions said.

The attorney representing Hill’s family has said he plans to appeal the verdict.

While jurors awarded Hill’s children essentially nothing, a GoFundMe page has already raised more than $80,000 for the kids’ education.