Jury Finds City of Rockford Liable in Mark Barmore Civil Trial

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A jury has found the City of Rockford liable in a civil trial brought against it for a 2009 police-involved shooting.

Mark Anthony Barmore, 23, who was wanted in connection with a domestic violence investigation, was killed in a confrontation with Rockford police officers in the basement of the Kingdom Authority Church in 2009.

Barmore lead police officers Stan North and Oda Poole into the church’s basement, where the House of Grace Daycare was in session. Barmore was killed during a struggle for Officer Poole’s firearm.

The Kingdom Authority Church had filed a lawsuit, on behalf of the children, staff of the daycare, and the Brown family (who own the church), for $4 million in damages against the City of Rockford.

The Brown family, daycare workers, and the children’s families were awarded money for emotional distress.

The jury awarded several individuals under one count of reckless conduct, on behalf of the police officers involved, with a sum of $350,000.

Sheila Brown was awarded $15,000, a lower amount than the prosecution had sought, determining that she was 40% to blame for the incident by leaving the church’s door unlocked, so that Barmore had access to the building.

The city will have to pay each of the children $30,000 per person for “reckless infliction of emotional distress”.

However, a Rockford spokesperson released a statement which said in part,  “… we must disagree with the law and evidence that were offered by the Plaintiffs and the court as inappropriate and incorrect based upon existing law in the State of Illinois. The City’s attorneys will consult with the City Council to determine a future course of action.”

Mayor Larry Morrissey will hold a news briefing on the verdict Friday afternoon.

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