As the nation continues to roil under multiple examples of police versus citizen violence and vice versa, a recently decided jury case in the Los Angeles County court system demonstrates the importance of some key factors.

In the case, which was quietly decided on Dec. 31, the wife and five children of 29-year-old African American Darren Burley were awarded $8 million in damages for the death of the defendant, who died after six L.A. County deputies attempted to handcuff and arrest him in Compton on Aug. 3, 2012.

Carl E. Douglas of the law firm Douglas/Hicks, who was one of four legal teams representing Burley’s family, quite frankly told the ethnically diverse jury of eight women and four men in the conservative Long Beach community that Burley was not a “nice man” and should have been arrested. But even during a lawful arrest, which Douglas said was the case in this instance, Burley did not deserve to die.

The Beverly Hills-based attorney—who previously served on the O.J. Simpson legal team—in part credited a perfect storm of circumstances for the win in his client’s case.

Douglas said deputies were culled to a location in Compton at 8:30 p.m. where Burley, who was said to be under the influence of PCP and cocaine and was attacking a woman in the street. In the process of attempting to arrest him, a witness said uniformed deputies tackled Burley and they all fell to the ground.

The witness said one officer placed a choke hold around Burley’s neck, while another hit him repeatedly in the head.

Douglas said Burley landed face down on the ground and another officer put pressure on his back. As he allegedly struggled to breath, Douglas claims deputies misinterpreted his intent and though he was trying to fight them.

According to court records, deputies also admit punching and shooting Burley with a stun gun and using their body weight to hold him down in order to handcuff him. In the process, the deputies blocked the flow of oxygen to Burley’s brain. However, although he was revived at the scene, he went into a coma and died 10 days later. That along with the marks found on both sides of his neck negates the county’s contention that Burley died of sudden cardiac arrest brought on by chronic drug use.

County officials also denied that deputies applied the chokehold.

Douglas said the perfect storm of circumstances included the trial ending up with four Blacks on the jury, a first for him in a police trial; the fact that contrary to most people who die after a chokehold is applied, he was revived; and both alternate jurors were called into action—including one African American woman—after one broke an arm and another got sick.

Additionally, although they could not allude to it during the trial Douglas said the Ferguson decision was announced in week three of the trial and the Garner decision was announced in week four.

Although the office of the County Counsel declined to comment on the record, Douglas thoroughly expects the county’s lawyers to challenge the decision and file a motion for a new trial.

The lawyer also notes some other key elements that occurred that added to the case including the need to get more Blacks on juries. Potential jurors are culled from the list of registered voters. And according to recent research, Douglas said if there are no Blacks on a jury panel the conviction rate of Blacks is 85 percent where as one on the case cuts percentage of convictions to 73 percent.