*OK, so here’s the scenario...A Georgia man is chased by two police officers. After a while he is caught, and falls to the ground weary from the chase. He tells the officers that he is “too tired” to walk. It appears that it is at this point the two officers attempt to “encourage him” to comply to their get up and walk orders by using taser guns, not once, not ten, but thirteen times.
The man dies while in police custody.
Now, in what appears to be an increasing and ongoing lack of accountability by police officers, a statement by the Police Benevolent Association lawyer says the actions of the officers did not cause the man’s death.
Needless to say, the family of Gregory Towns disagrees.
According to news station WSB-TV, the Towns’ family plans to serve the East Point Police Department in Georgia with a lawsuit after their attorney learned that ” … department policies were violated during this encounter” with their son, Gregory.
Chris Stewart, the family’s attorney, told the news station that Towns was repeatedly hit with a stun gun during an encounter with police in April. Police records seen by Stewart reportedly show that Towns was “drive-stunned” in an attempt to make him get up and walk.
“This is a direct violation of their own rules,” Stewart told WSB-TV. “You cannot use a Taser to escort or prod a subject.”
According to police records and eyewitness accounts obtained by Stewart, he told the media it led him to believe that two officers “violated the city’s standard operating procedures for Tasers.” Now the lawyer says the family plans to file a lawsuit later this week.
“He wasn’t cursing. He wasn’t being abusive. He was saying, ‘I’m tired,’ ” Stewart told WSB-TV.
Taser logs show that Sgt. Marcus Eberhart triggered his Taser 10 times and Officer Howard Weems shot his Taser three times, according to Stewart. It is also noted that the taser may not have hit Towns each time it was fired. However, the attorney still feels that the number of trigger pulls was excessive for a man who posed no threat to the officers. “This situation is indefensible,” he said.
Meanwhile Dale Preiser, one of Weems’ lawyers at the Police Benevolent Association, told the news station that his client’s actions did not cause Towns’ death.
“Use of drive stun to gain compliance is permitted under federal and Georgia law,” Weems’ lawyers said in a statement seen by the news station. A city representative told the news station that the city had no comment on pending or potential litigation.
See WSB-TV video report directly below.