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Gov. DeSantis approves $6M for man paralyzed by deputy shooting

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Posted at 1:54 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 13:54:15-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill approving a $6 million payment to a black man who was left paralyzed when a sheriff's deputy mistook his cellphone for a handgun and shot him four times.

The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office must pay the money to 27-year-old Dontrell Stephens, who was left paralyzed from the waist down in the 2013 shooting.

The Legislature in March overwhelmingly approved a bill waiving the state's $200,000 limit that local governments can be required to pay for damages in most cases.

A federal civil jury in 2016 had awarded Stephens $22 million after he sued, an amount Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw refused to pay.