A Brooklyn jury handed out a $25 million award Friday to a hulking ex-con who was shot during a struggle with an NYPD sergeant who was trying to bust him on a drug rap, court papers state.
Eugene Sims, 39, was paralyzed from the waist down when Sgt. Sean O’Brien shot him during the life-or-death confrontation outside a Bushwick bodega on April 6, 2009, sources told The Post.
The cops approached Sims because they thought he was conducting a drug deal. Sims ran and cops caught him from behind. Police initially said Sims had a handgun and a gun was found at the scene — though he was later acquitted on the weapons charge, sources said.
The six jurors unanimously agreed that the sergeant used “excessive force” in shooting Sims, and awarded him $16.5 million for pain and suffering, court papers state.
Sims also won $8 million for future medical expenses and $200,000 for the 10 days he spent in jail after he was shot.
Another $500,000 for ¬unlawful arrest brought the total to $25.2 million.
“Plaintiff was wantonly, intentionally, maliciously, illegally and brutally assaulted, attacked and shot by O’Brien,” states the Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit, which was filed in 2010. “Plaintiff was severely and permanently injured and damaged.”
Sims, who also goes by the alias James Smalls, served time upstate for felony assault in the mid-1990s, records state.
“This verdict clearly supports the anti-police atmosphere in the city of New York and the lunacy in how criminals are able to game the city. The message is clear: New York City will pay criminals big money if they come here to commit a crime,” said Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins.