Florida Senate - 2024                              (NP)    SB 20
       By Senator Rouson
       16-00066-24                                             202420__
    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 with the Lakeland Police Department; providing
    7         a limitation on the payment of compensation and
    8         attorney fees; providing an effective date.
   10         WHEREAS, on October 18, 2001, Officer Mike Cochran of the
   11  Lakeland Police Department stopped Reginald Jackson for driving
   12  with an invalid license tag after the officer incorrectly typed
   13  the tag number into his computer and it was, therefore,
   14  identified as invalid, and
   15         WHEREAS, Officer Cochran then issued a citation to Mr.
   16  Jackson for transporting his girlfriend’s 18-month-old brother
   17  without a car seat and forbade Mr. Jackson from moving the
   18  vehicle without properly restraining the child, and
   19         WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson asked if Officer Cochran could escort
   20  his vehicle to his home a short distance away, but the officer
   21  refused and directed Mr. Jackson to use an immediately adjacent
   22  pay phone to call someone to bring a car seat for the child, and
   23         WHEREAS, after the stop, Officer Cochran drove away and
   24  positioned himself in an alley parallel to the site of the
   25  initial stop and observed Mr. Jackson drive to a pay phone in
   26  the next block, which Mr. Jackson did after determining that the
   27  immediately adjacent pay phone was not operational, and
   28         WHEREAS, while Mr. Jackson attempted to use the second pay
   29  phone, Officer Cochran approached him and told him that he was
   30  under arrest for disobeying a law enforcement officer, and
   31         WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson was startled by the officer and ran
   32  back to his vehicle, got inside, backed up a short distance, and
   33  then drove forward without pressing the gas pedal, and
   34         WHEREAS, when Officer Cochran told Mr. Jackson to stop the
   35  vehicle or he would shoot, Mr. Jackson then pumped his brakes
   36  twice, and the officer fired a .45 caliber bullet through the
   37  windshield which struck Mr. Jackson in the neck and exited
   38  through his back, and
   39         WHEREAS, Mr. Jackson was unarmed and seated next to an 18
   40  month-old child, and
   41         WHEREAS, after the shooting, the police transported the
   42  child to the police station in a marked vehicle without a child
   43  safety seat, and
   44         WHEREAS, as a result of the injury, Mr. Jackson will suffer
   45  pain and be disabled for the rest of his life, and
   46         WHEREAS, Officer Cochran, as an employee of the Lakeland
   47  Police Department acting within the scope of employment, owed a
   48  duty to Mr. Jackson to conduct himself in a reasonable manner
   49  and exercise reasonable care, but he breached that duty by
   50  discharging his firearm through Mr. Jackson’s windshield in a
   51  careless and negligent manner, and
   52         WHEREAS, a jury in the Circuit Court of the Tenth Judicial
   53  Circuit in and for Polk County awarded Mr. Jackson $412,500 in
   54  damages, and
   55         WHEREAS, due to the limits of s. 768.28, Florida Statutes,
   56  at the time of the incident, Mr. Jackson has collected only
   57  $100,000 of his judgment against the City of Lakeland, and the
   58  remainder may be recovered only through passage of a claim bill
   59  by the Legislature, NOW, THEREFORE,
   61  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   63         Section 1. The facts stated in the preamble to this act are
   64  found and declared to be true.
   65         Section 2. The City of Lakeland is authorized and directed
   66  to appropriate from funds of the city not otherwise appropriated
   67  and to draw a warrant payable to Reginald Jackson for the sum of
   68  $312,500 as compensation for injuries and damages sustained.
   69         Section 3. The amount paid by the City of Lakeland pursuant
   70  to s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, and the amount awarded under
   71  this act are intended to provide the sole compensation for all
   72  present and future claims arising out of the factual situation
   73  resulting in the shooting of Reginald Jackson as described in
   74  this act. The total amount paid for attorney fees relating to
   75  this claim may not exceed 25 percent of the amount awarded under
   76  this act.
   77         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.