December 28, 2009

Taser Lawsuit: Brett Elder (Bay City MI)

The father of a Bay City teen who died after police used a stun gun to subdue him has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court. Eugene E. Elder Sr. figures police killed his teenage son unjustifiably with a Taser, and he plans to fire back with a lawsuit. [SOURCE]

"I'm going after the city. I don't care," said Elder, 55, of Bay City. "There's no reason for killing my boy. He didn't do nothing wrong."

"He didn't like cops because he knows the rest of us don't, but he wasn't out to get them
," Elder said.
Brett "Dewey" Elder, 15, stood 5-foot-6 and weighed about 140 pounds ... he was no match for three Bay City Police Department officers who encountered him in Cindy Hernden's apartment.

Elder came to Ms. Herndon's apartment early Sunday morning ... he had been drinking alcohol.

"Brett's been coming to my house regularly since he's been 3 years old, and his mom (the late Jodi Elder) died in September of last year and since then Brett has been in daily contact with me," Hernden said.

"When his mother died, I was like his surrogate mother."

Cindy Hernden said six people were spending the night at her apartment, and one of them told Brett Elder to quiet down, "and at that point he kind of grabbed her and put her in a headlock."

Hernden said she then dialed 911, and believes the boyfriend of the woman also called police.

"The other people in the apartment were trying to subdue Brett and calm him down," Hernden said. "Three police officers came in the door and asked what was going on. Everybody at this point was screaming and yelling at each other, and it was getting out of hand."
Police came to the apartment to quell a reported fight. Hernden said police managed to calm Brett Elder - temporarily.

"The officers had calmed Brett down and he was sitting on a couch, and then one officer said something to him, and Brett stood up like he was maybe going to lunge at the police," Hernden said.

"And right then and there is when they put the handcuffs on him. They knocked him on the ground and that's when they Tasered him."

Hernden said Brett Elder vomited "immediately" after police used the Taser.

"I told the police 'He's not breathing, he's not breathing,' and I told them I know (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and one of the officers told me to shut up," Hernden said.

"They told me to stand back and wait for a medical professional to arrive, so that's what I did."
Hernden said Brett Elder wasn't armed when he moved toward officers inside her apartment. Brett Elder's aunt, Dorothy A. Hendrix of Bay City, said Brett Elder was "devastated" by the death of his mother in September.

"He didn't even weigh 150 pounds," Hendrix said. "They Tasered a little kid."
In May, Bay County prosecutor Kurt Asbury said officers would not be charged in Elder’s death, citing that "there isn't evidence that officers committed any criminal act that caused or contributed to the death of Brett Elder."

An autopsy performed by Dr. Kanu Virani, a forensic pathologist, found a two-part cause of death for Elder: "alcohol-induced excited delirium" and "application of an electromuscular disruption device," or Taser.


DNLee said...

This is just sad. These devices need to be reclassified or more rowdy teens and kids will die.

Villager said...

Danielle - I have to believe that 2009 is the deadliest year on record for taser-related deaths. They occurred at a rate of more than one per week.

Gunfighter said...

"Rowdy teens"? This "rowdy teen" was so out of control,his friends called the police because he assaulted someone. This isn't rowdy behavior, it's criminal.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - the criminal penalty for being a rowdy teen should not be death...

jdelman25 said...

This boy was like my little brother,, and i think its crap people like you can talk about someone and speculate when you know nothing about the situation!! The fact he was killed by a taser when there were three huge cops there to handle him is inhumane!! And we will all be judged in the end for the good and the bad.. so just remember this when you wish to gossip these are peoples kids, brothers,grandkids and your being rude and disrespectful!!

Villager said...

jdelman25 - I'm very sorry for your loss. I think that Brett Elder was killed by the police unnecessarily. He had a slight build ... weighed 140 pounds ... the police should have subdued him without killing him.

Anonymous said...

Todd Atkins husband of sarah atkins of bay city is the name of the cop that tazed brett.

Villager said...

hobozach3405 - Thank you for the updated information re: the taser-killing police officer.