Florida Senate - 2021                              (NP)    SB 40
       By Senator Rouson
       19-00139-21                                             202140__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act for the relief of Reginald Jackson by the City
    3         of Lakeland; providing an appropriation to compensate
    4         Reginald Jackson for injuries and damages sustained as
    5         a result of the negligence of Mike Cochran, a police
    6         officer for the Lakeland Police Department; providing
    7         a limitation on the payment of attorney fees;
    8         providing an effective date.
   10         WHEREAS, on October 18, 2001, Officer Mike Cochran of the
   11  Lakeland Police Department stopped Reginald Jackson for an
   12  invalid license tag after the officer had incorrectly typed the
   13  tag number into his computer, and
   14         WHEREAS, Officer Cochran then issued a citation to Mr.
   15  Jackson for transporting his girlfriend’s 18-month-old brother
   16  without a car seat and forbade Mr. Jackson from moving the
   17  vehicle without properly restraining the child, and
   18         WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson asked if Officer Cochran could escort
   19  his vehicle to his home a short distance away, but the officer
   20  refused and directed Mr. Jackson to call someone to bring a car
   21  seat for the child, and
   22         WHEREAS, Officer Cochran then positioned himself in an
   23  alley parallel to the initial stop to observe Mr. Jackson drive
   24  away to a different pay phone at the next block after the pay
   25  phone immediately adjacent to the site of the traffic stop was
   26  not operating, and
   27         WHEREAS, while Mr. Jackson attempted to use the second pay
   28  phone, Officer Cochran approached him and told him that he was
   29  under arrest for disobeying a law enforcement officer, and
   30         WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson was startled by the officer and ran
   31  back to his vehicle and backed up a short distance, and then
   32  drove forward without pressing the gas pedal, and
   33         WHEREAS, when Officer Cochran told Mr. Jackson to stop the
   34  vehicle or he would shoot, Mr. Jackson then pumped his brakes
   35  twice, and the officer 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 seated next to an 18
   39  month-old child, 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 a result of the injury, Mr. Jackson will suffer
   44  pain and be disabled for the rest of his life, and
   45         WHEREAS, Officer Cochran, as an employee of the Lakeland
   46  Police Department acting within the scope of employment, owed a
   47  duty to Mr. Jackson to conduct himself in a reasonable manner
   48  and exercise reasonable care, but breached that duty by
   49  discharging his firearm through Mr. Jackson’s windshield in a
   50  careless and negligent manner, and
   51         WHEREAS, a jury in the Circuit Court of the Tenth Judicial
   52  Circuit in and for Polk County awarded Mr. Jackson $412,500 in
   53  damages, and
   54         WHEREAS, due to the limits of s. 768.28, Florida Statutes,
   55  at the time of the incident, Mr. Jackson has collected only
   56  $100,000 of his judgment against the City of Lakeland, and the
   57  remainder may be recovered only through a claim bill approved by
   58  the Legislature, NOW, THEREFORE,
   60  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   62         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   63  found and declared to be true.
   64         Section 2. The City of Lakeland is authorized and directed
   65  to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated
   66  and to draw a warrant payable to Reginald Jackson for the sum of
   67  $312,500 as compensation for injuries and damages sustained.
   68         Section 3. The amount paid by the City of Lakeland pursuant
   69  to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under
   70  this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all
   71  present and future claims arising out of the factual situation
   72  resulting in the shooting of Reginald Jackson as described in
   73  this act. The total amount paid for attorney fees relating to
   74  this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under
   75  this act.
   76         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.