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Judge: jury found $5K is fair compensation for former cop

A federal judge has denied a motion from former Columbus Police Officer Alicia Davenport for a new trial on the amount of damages she received in a September verdict.

Davenport, who won $5,000 from a jury in her civil trial last month, asked U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land for the new trial, arguing that the jury's failure to award punitive damages and more compensatory damages was "unconscionable, shocks the conscience and is unsupported by the evidence."

"We're pleased that the motion for new trial for the plaintiff has been dismissed by Judge Land," said City Attorney Clifton Fay. "We certainly respect the jury's decision."

Davenport claimed in her suit that while serving in the Narcotics and Vice Unit, several fellow police officers discriminated and retaliated against her. Jurors found that Dean Walton, Rodney Spear and David Horiuchi intentionally discriminated against her because of her gender. They also found she suffered in her capacity as an undercover officer because of that discrimination.

Land, however, ruled Tuesday that a finding of intentional discrimination doesn't automatically mean there should be punitive damages. He also said that "a reasonable, fair-minded, objective jury could have concluded from the evidence that $5,000 would fairly compensate the plaintiff for her damages."

Attorney Gwyn Newsom, who represents Davenport, has said the city could expect to see a motion seeking compensation for attorneys' fees which could total $200,000.

"We don't think that is warranted, but we'll make an appropriate response when that is filed," Fay said. "This matter will hopefully be put to rest shortly."

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