March 19, 2010
Taser Lawsuit: Richard Lua (San Jose CA)
Richard Lua was a 28-year old man with a future on February 11, 2009. His future was tasered away by Officers Eric Bachmann and Patrick Lynch. Bachmann and Lynch chased Lua into his own backyard on that day, after trying to detain him a short distance away. They electrocuted him with their taser guns after a violent struggle in which they also hit him with batons.
Lua's family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city.
Police did not say why the officers had wanted to detain Lua. The suit said police had no probable cause to stop him.
The cause of Lua's death was "profound methamphetamine intoxication," according to the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office, which listed the manner of death as accidental.
But in a lawsuit filed earlier this month in U.S District Court in San Jose, Lua's parents, Emily Contreras and Jose Lua Sr., said their son had posed no threat to the officers and that he "did nothing to provoke the unjustified use of excessive and unreasonable force."
The alleged excessive force included "multiple baton strikes, Taser shots and other acts of violence while decedent lay helplessly," said the suit filed by attorney Vicki Sarmiento.
The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, names the city of San Jose, Chief Rob Davis, Bachmann and Lynch. Both officers had been on the force for seven years at the time of the incident.
I imagine that a few successful lawsuits might be what it takes to change police behavior as it relates to extra-judicial electrocution of American citizens.
Do you think that the Lua family is doing the right thing with their lawsuit?