Florida Senate - 2013 SB 48 By Senator Margolis 35-00043-13 201348__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act for the relief of Reginald Jackson by the City 3 of Lakeland; providing for an appropriation to 4 compensate him for injuries and damages sustained as a 5 result of the negligence of an employee of the 6 Lakeland Police Department; providing an effective 7 date. 8 9 WHEREAS, on October 18, 2001, Officer Mike Cochran, a 10 police officer with the Lakeland Police Department of the City 11 of Lakeland, stopped Reginald Jackson for an invalid license 12 plate after the officer had incorrectly typed the tag number 13 into his computer, and 14 WHEREAS, upon stopping Mr. Jackson, Officer Cochran 15 discovered that Mr. Jackson was illegally transporting his 16 girlfriend’s 18-month-old brother without a car seat, issued a 17 citation for such violation, and forbade Mr. Jackson from 18 further moving the vehicle without properly restraining the 19 child, and 20 WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson requested Officer Cochran to escort 21 his vehicle to his home a short distance away, but the officer 22 refused and directed Mr. Jackson to call someone to bring a car 23 seat for the child, and 24 WHEREAS, Officer Cochran then positioned himself in an 25 alley parallel to the initial stop and observed Mr. Jackson 26 drive to a pay phone in the next block, and 27 WHEREAS, while Mr. Jackson attempted to use the pay phone, 28 Officer Cochran approached him and told him that he was under 29 arrest for disobeying a law enforcement officer, and 30 WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson was startled by the officer and ran to 31 his vehicle, put it in reverse, and then forward without 32 pressing the gas pedal, and 33 WHEREAS, Officer Cochran told Mr. Jackson to stop the 34 vehicle or he would shoot, Mr. Jackson pumped his brakes twice, 35 and the officer then fired a .45 caliber bullet through the 36 windshield which struck Mr. Jackson in the neck and exited 37 through his back, and 38 WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson was unarmed and had an 18-month-old 39 child seated next to him, and 40 WHEREAS, after the shooting, the police transported the 41 child to the police station in a marked vehicle without a child 42 safety seat, and 43 WHEREAS, as the result of gunshot wound, Mr. Jackson will 44 suffer pain and will be disabled for the rest of his life, and 45 WHEREAS, as the result of the carelessness and negligence 46 of Officer Cochran, a jury in the circuit court for the 10th 47 Judicial Circuit awarded Reginald Jackson $412,500 in damages, 48 and 49 WHEREAS, due to the limits of liability set forth in s. 50 768.28, Florida Statutes, Reginald Jackson is able to collect 51 only $100,000 of his judgment against the City of Lakeland and 52 the remainder may be recovered only through a claim bill 53 approved by the Legislature, NOW, THEREFORE, 54 55 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 56 57 Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are 58 found and declared to be true. 59 Section 2. The City of Lakeland is authorized and directed 60 to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated 61 and to draw a warrant in the sum of $312,500 payable, to 62 Reginald Jackson as compensation for injuries and damages 63 sustained. 64 Section 3. The amount paid by the City of Lakeland pursuant 65 to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under 66 this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all 67 present and future claims arising out of the factual situation 68 described in this act which resulted in injuries and damages to 69 Reginald Jackson. The total amount paid for attorney fees, 70 lobbying fees, costs, and other similar expenses relating to 71 this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under 72 this act. 73 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.