Black Man Wins $9M For Beating Injuries

Black Man Wins $9M For Beating Injuries

A Texas jury awarded $9 million in damages to a black man who was beaten by four white men in a racially charged case.

Billy Ray Johnson, 46, suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the beating and must now reside in a nursing home. According to authorities, Johnson—described as friendly but “slow”—was lured to an underage, all-white party where he was fed alcohol and picked on.

Authorities said Johnson, who had no criminal history of violence, was found unconscious on an ant mound. He had sustained serious brain injury, including concussion and internal bleeding.

In the criminal trial, the men accused of assaulting Johnson were acquitted of felony charges, being convicted instead on lesser charges. They were fined and sentenced to probation. None of the men served more than 60 days in jail.

The civil trial, however, resulted in a unanimous ruling by a nearly all-white jury. After less than four hours, the jury found in favor of Johnson and awarded him $9 million.

“The jury told all of Texas and, indeed, the entire country, that Billy Ray is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity—that the life of each of us, rich or poor, black or white, abled or disabled, is truly precious,” said attorney Morris Dees.

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