Tasers have their place in law enforcement. However, they must be used responsibly.
“This is a troubling case from many angles,” says Stephen Ozcomert, an Atlanta injury lawyer who practices personal injury, accidents and malpractice law. “It is troubling from the point of view that the police officer who used a Taser on a mentally distressed man did so twice, despite being told the man would not harm anyone and was not armed. The man was off his bipolar drugs.”
As a result of the man dying later in the hospital, a victim of cardiac arrest from two Taser shots, the man’s wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit that, among other things, stated the police used excessive force for the situation, intentionally inflicted emotional distress and deprived the dead man of his constitutional rights. “Should a jury agree with the plaintiff that the man was not a threat, then they could regard the deployment of the Taser, twice, as an intentional wrongful act without a good reason to do so,” explained Ozcomert.
The man’s wife, present during the whole confrontation with the police, stated the officer had no reason to use the weapon on her unarmed and naked husband. They had pulled over to the side of the road, and the wife was rummaging in the trunk to get her husband’s medication. While he took the medicine, it would not kick in for some time, during which he took off his clothes and refused to get into the car. His wife called the police, as she was afraid he would be hit by a passing vehicle.
The police dispatch notified the officers responding that they were about to be going into a psychiatric situation. Two troopers arrived on the scene, one of which was the police chief. The naked man was running up the road, screaming and trying to direct traffic. The first officer supposedly told him to hit the ground thirteen times. For some reason, the screaming man thought the first officer was going to shoot the police chief. As he turned towards the first officer, he was hit with the first Taser shot.
“Things got confusing after that point, and the police said the man charged them, causing the first cop to deploy the Taser a second time in self-defense. The man was not warned about the Taser and was hit twice within 42 seconds,” Ozcomert pointed out.
A jury may well side with the plaintiff in this type of a situation, as the man appeared to be unarmed and certainly not a threat to anyone but himself. The officers knew what they were going to be dealing with prior to their arrival, and had they chosen to handle themselves a different way, the man may still be alive today and his small daughter would still have her father.
Situations like this do not happen all the time, but they happen often enough that if an individual finds themselves in a scenario like this, they need to call a competent Atlanta personal injury attorney right away. If justice is to be done, and the family assisted to move forward with their lives, the Atlanta personal injury lawyer is the best course of action.
To learn more visit http://www.ozcomert.com.